May 21 2013 Latest news:
Friday, March 8, 2013
Sir Michael Caine was awarded the Freedom of the City of London today, coinciding with the launch of an exhibition celebrating his work.
The Freedom of the City of London is believed to have started in 1237 and is granted to those who have made outstanding contributions to London life.
Many of the so-called traditional privileges associated with it, such as driving sheep over London Bridge or being hanged with a silken rope, no longer exist.
The actor, who turns 80 next week, was recognised by the City of London Corporation for his achievement in film. His award was presented during a special service conducted by the Clerk of the Chamberlain’s Court at the Museum of London’s City Gallery.
The Freedom of the City of London is an honour which dates back to the 13th century.
Sir Michael is the subject of a new exhibition at the Museum of London, which features family photographs, portraits by famed photographers David Bailey and Terry O’Neill, and film and audio footage from films including Alfie, The Italian Job, Get Carter and Educating Rita.
Speaking ahead of the opening of the exhibition, Sir Michael said: “I think the Museum is great for London, and I am so proud to be included.”
Beverley Cook, Museum of London curator, said: “Sir Michael Caine is one of London’s most loved and recognisable characters.
“He was the first actor to bring an authentic London accent to the big screen, and although Hollywood success made him an international star, he remains inextricably linked to his London roots.
“This exhibition will celebrate how the city influenced both Caine’s life and his career.”
Sir Michael was born Maurice Micklewhite in Rotherhithe, and was the son of a Billingsgate Fish Market porter.
His first film was A Hill in Korea in 1956, and he got his big break in the 1964 film Zulu.
He has been in more than 100 films, with his latest, Now You See Me in which he stars alongside Morgan Freeman and Jesse Eisenberg, out in June.
To complement the exhibition, the Museum of London Docklands is running Caine on Screen, a series of free films voted for by the public.
Fans can vote for their favourite Michael Caine movie, and the top four films will have a free public screening each month from April to July.
The Museum of London exhibition, Michael Caine, runs until July 14 and entry is free.