The Truth About Michael Caine's Real Name

Michael Caine is an actor of immense gravitas and global recognition. It's not unusual for celebrities of his caliber to draw attention while traveling, but Caine has run into an issue in airports that his celebrity status couldn't solve. Such an issue, in fact, that he actually changed his real name to prevent it.

Caine, per Britannica, started stage acting way back in 1953, and made his first movie appearances three years later. Known all around the world as Michael Caine, he was actually born (in London in March of 1933) as Maurice Joseph Micklewhite. According to his official website, he changed his stage name from Michael Scott to Michael Caine in the 1950's, because another London actor already had the former name. He had been speaking on the telephone in London when he was given the news, saw that "The Caine Mutiny" was playing at a nearby theater, and changed his name on the spot.

Like many celebrity heavyweights, Caine later adopted his show business moniker as his official name. The truth is, his reason for doing so was no more glamorous than his reason for selecting "Michael Caine" in the first place.

Michael Caine changed his name to ease airport security issues

As Yahoo Movies reported at the time, it wasn't until 2016 that the actor made his name change to Michael Caine official. He did so, he told The Sun newspaper (via Yahoo Movies), because having a stage name led to all manner of delays in a period when airports around the world were tightening security measures. Being an international celebrity, he explained, he was recognized everywhere he went. "An airport security guard would say 'Hi Michael Caine,'" he said, only for him to run into an issue when this inevitably wasn't the name displayed on his passport.

A world-famous face can certainly be a double-edged sword, and in Caine's case, it meant extra delays as his identity was verified. "I could stand there for an hour. So I changed my name," he concluded in The Sun's interview, and so Maurice Micklewhite legally became Michael Caine. He became Sir Maurice Mickelwhite in 2000 when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II (per his official website), and the London-born Mickelwhite lives on in the unmistakable accent that defines his performances.