Born Maurice Micklewhite, Michael Caine spent his first decade as a young actor learning his trade, playing small theatres around Britain after he'd come back from combat in Korea. Despite his Cockney origins, he was cast by American-born director Cy Endfield as a posh officer in the 1964 war epic, "Zulu." The performance brought him international acclaim.
"If he'd have been a British director, even if he'd been a left-wing Communist, he would never have cast me as an officer!" Caine told "Sunday Morning" correspondent Mark Phillips. "I mean, I was a real rough cockney, tawkin' luhke that, you know? And so, thank you, America. You got me my first part!"