Some people have such amazing love stories that they can beat movie plots. Actor Sir Michael Caine is one of those people. Caine has been married for more than 46 years to his second wife, Shakira, and the way he first chanced upon her is incredible.
The 86-year-old two-time Oscar winner revealed during an episode of The Jonathan Ross Show that he saw his wife, who is now 72, on the television in a commercial and fell in love instantly. He saw the advertisement and immediately thought of going to Brazil the morning after to find her.
“It was a commercial for coffee in Brazil, and I was with one of my best mates and for the first time in years we were watching television. We just had a night from the disco and I just watched her and I thought, ‘That is the woman for me.’ I said to my mate, ‘We are going to Brazil in the morning, we are going to find her’,” he said, according to Daily Mail.
Then he and two of his friends went to the disco nearby where another friend asked them, “You three? No girls? What’s going on?” And Caine said, “I saw a beautiful girl on the television and I’m going to Brazil in the morning to find her… She wasn’t in a show, she was in a commercial.” So, his friend asked him which commercial it was, to which he responded, “Maxwell House Coffee”.
His friend told him that they make the advertisement. The Cider House Rules actor said, “Well you know the Brazilian girl in it, I’m going to Brazil in the morning to find her. Can you help me?” He thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, and still thinks so.
Then, his friend said something that changed his life. “He said, ‘Michael, she’s not Brazilian, she is Indian. And she lives on the Fulham Road.'” The Zulu actor managed to find her number and called her 11 times. She said no 10 times before agreeing to see him in 1971.
“The last one she decided to go out with me … We went out and fell in love instantly and have never parted since,” The Dark Knight actor said, according to News.com.au. The Guyana-born Indian model and he married in Las Vegas in 1973, and they have a daughter together called Natasha, who made the Inception actor a grandfather recently.
There is a lot he attributes to his wife and making him a calmer person is one of them. “Without her, I would have been dead long ago,” he told the Radio Times, according to the Telegraph. “I would have probably drunk myself to death… There was always some stressful thing. Meeting Shakira calmed me down.” She never told him to stop drinking but being with her made him “want to stay sober and be alive,” he told the Telegraph magazine.
The 85-year-old actor is so reliant on her now that he calls her his “right-hand man” and “confidante.” He even attributes his success to her. “I tell her everything. I was famous when I met her, but I couldn’t have got this far without her,” he said.
Their relationship has evolved over the years so that she’s a partner in his work not just in life. “It’s not just a partnership built on love; it’s also a business partnership,” he told Germany’s Reader’s Digest magazine, reported the Brampton Guardian.
The old-school actor also got honest about how easy it is to stray when you’re surrounded by beautiful actresses, but never did so. “In this business, you’re surrounded by beautiful women – but I’ve got one at home, so I’ve never been tempted to stray. We also preempted any of that kind of danger because I never went on location without her. Going on location is a killer: Among actors they say, ‘Well, location doesn’t count. I never went with that saying, because I never went on location without her. Simple.”
Another reason, she’s always with him when he goes anywhere is to keep his marriage strong. “When you go away for a long time… you visit places the other one’s never seen, you eat in restaurants the other one’s never been, you meet people the other one’s never met. Both of you have started a separate life and it’s very important you don’t do that I think. So my wife goes with me everywhere,” said the Alfie actor.