Many movie stars take a stage name. Would you go and see Stagecoach starring Marion Morrison? Or Rocky starring Sylvester Gardenzio? Or Die Hard starring Walter Willison? How about Zulu, Alfie, or The Italian Job starring Maurice Micklethwaite? Legendary actor Michael Caine adopted his screen name at the beginning of his career, borrowing the last name from The Caine Mutiny, starring his favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart (one of the few Golden Age movie stars who didn’t have to change his name, by the way.) After decades of being known as Michael Caine in public and Maurice Micklethwaite in his private life, the actor has now reluctantly given in to his onscreen persona and legally changed his name to Michael Caine.
The reason? Terrorists. Increased security at airports has meant that the star is often delayed because the name on his passport is different to the name by which everyone knows him. “An airport security guard would say ‘Hi Michael Caine,’ and suddenly I’d give him a passport with a different name on it. I could stand there for an hour. So I changed my name,” the actor tells The Sun. At least now when Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon imitate him, they’ll actually be imitating Michael Caine.