From now on, you can call two-time Oscar winner Michael Caine "Sir Michael." He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, CBS News Senior European Correspondent Tom Fenton reports.
Caine's long career has won him the respect of his profession. But now, with his knighthood, he has finally won the respect of his country, too.
"I go around quietly ecstatic all day," says the actor. "I mean, I don't shout and cheer or anything, because I'm not that kind of person. But I am so happy that I've been knighted."
Two months ago, Caine complained that he had been shunned by the British establishment and was an outsider.
"I have never really felt that I belonged in my own country in my own profession," he said. "I've been what's known as a loner."
Now, at 67, with 85 films and a knighthood, he has arrived, But it has been a struggle. He was born on the wrong side of the tracks; his father, a porter in a fish market, and his mother, a cleaning woman. His early days in the theater were difficult.
His first big role came in Zulu (1964), but it was Alfie (1966) that brought him worldwide attention.
"Alfie went from coast to coast," Caine recalls. "I think the reason was, it was recognized straightaway as being an icon of the 1960s and of London as a swinging city."
In Alfie, he was the charming rogue, the British working-class lad from London. But Caine has a sinister side, as seen in Get Carter (1971).
The 6-foot-2-inch actor was young, raw and attractive, as seen in The Italian Job (1969). Shortly after he moved to Hollywood in 1979, he won an Oscar nomination for Educating Rita (1983). His performance in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) won him a supporting actor award and another one with The Cider House Rules (1999). Now, the British Film Institute has honored him as well.
"It has been cold out there," says the actor. "Maybe I feel a little more welcome in my own country than I have up until now."
It has been a long journey from the South London kid to Sir Michael. But in a country where class still counts, the knighthood gives him a feeling of belonging that he always lacked.