See? I've sort of grown up with Michael Caine in my life. I headed to movie theaters to see his other Oscar-nominated performances -- in Sleuth and Educating Rita. A number of his non-nominated performances are favorites of mine -- in movies like Gambit with Shirley MacLaine, The Man Who Would Be King, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Steve Martin, Miss Congeniality and the Christopher Nolan Batman adventures.
If there's any proof that I have been lucky in my unorthodox television career, it's the fact that I went from being a little kid seeing Michael Caine at a Los Angeles drive-in movie to having Michael Caine as my sole guest one night on my VH1 talk show in New York. He was promoting his 1988 Sherlock Holmes comedy, Without A Clue, at the time. He'd won his first Oscar. He was a great guest, the kind of celebrity you hope to have as a guest. Even if he had nothing to promote, he'd still have something to say. Something very entertaining. That's what I find missing in many talk show guests in the current arena of night time entertainment talk shows. Remove the self-marketing and product placement of the moment and they have very little to say. Caine is a terrific storyteller.
Deathtrap was a hit Broadway murder mystery. Michael Caine played a writer in Sidney Lumet's 1982 film version opposite Superman movie star, Christopher Reeve.
Their characters seemed to become very good friends in that movie.
Michael Caine and I talked about his early career disappointment with film producer Joseph E. Levine and about making Deathtrap with Christopher Reeve. The Oscar-winner starts with his memories about Zulu and the sexual vibe the producer didn't like.
I loved that show! To this very minute, it's one of my favorite on-camera experiences in my entire television career. I still can't believe I was lucky enough to interview him. To have grown up in the South L.A. curfew area during the Watts Riots of the 1960s and then to host a national prime time VH1 talk show in New York City in the 1980s with him as a guest ... wow. I wish Michael Caine an extremely, fabulously happy 80th birthday.