Celebrity

Michael Caine Reveals How His Wife Helped Save His Life

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From the outside looking in, being a celebrity may seem like the best thing ever. We usually equate fame with wealth, luxury and power, so it can't be that bad, right? Wrong.

While there are plenty of perks that come with being a prominent part of Hollywood, it's not all that it's cracked out to be.

On top of all of life's challenges, having paparazzi follow you day and night, your opinions scrutinized, and your relationships criticized can take a toll on a person and push them towards a path of self-destruction.

Sir Michael Caine has first-hand experience with the dark side of fame, and is now publicly opening up about it.

"Shakira literally saved my life."

The Oscar-winner, who has starred in over 100 films, recently released a book, Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: And Other Lessons in Life, in which he shares personal stories, advice, and lessons that he's learned throughout his life.  

Caine, 85, recounted a very low point in his life when it all became too much and he turned to alcohol to cope.

"I was never bombed on set, but I thought that a small vodka for breakfast was nothing to worry about, and in the early 1970s I was drinking two bottles of the stuff a day,” he wrote.

The British icon, who was 40 at the time, was also smoking several packs of cigarettes per day and admitted that he would've been dead if it hadn't been for his second wife, model Shakira Baksh Caine.

Caine first saw Shakira in when she starred in a 1971 commercial for Maxwell House coffee. He thought she was "the most beautiful woman he has ever seen," and was able to track her down with the help of a friend who worked in the advertising business.

The pair hit it off right away, and in 1973, they exchanged vows in Las Vegas.

"By an immense stroke of good fortune, Shakira arrived in my life just in time," Caine continued the chapter. "The empty feeling vanished and she got on my case. Then, to top it all, she got pregnant and I was given a second go at fatherhood, and soon I got myself straightened out."

The Dark Knight star was able to overcome his addiction, and although he isn't fully sober, he never drinks during the day, "and with dinner it's just wine."

"Shakira literally saved my life," he admitted.

As for his 80 cigarettes-a-day habit, he was also able to kick it after Tony Curtis, a fellow actor, forced him to stop.

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The secret to marital bliss

47 years later, Caine's relationship is stronger than ever, but helping each other through the bad times isn't the only secret to their happiness.

In an interview on The Jonathan Ross Show, Caine, whose first marriage failed because he was "too young and immature," said his second "marriage is fabulous" because they have separate bathrooms.

"You never want to share a bathroom with a woman or you end up with a little corner for your shaving things and stuff," he quipped. "I am older than she is and I need more space."

The veteran actor and father of two daughters, Natasha and Dominique (with his first wife Patricia Haines), also talked about aging and retiring in his new book.

He was ready to leave the world of acting behind when director Christopher Nolan convinced him to play the role of the beloved butler, Alfred, in the Batman trilogy.

“There I was, at the age of seventy-one, cast in one of the greatest trilogies ever made and about to kick off ten years of movie-making heaven,” he wrote.

Caine has continued to star in blockbuster films, his most recent work is in the British crime movie King of Thieves.

The actor added that he has been extraordinary lucky in my personal life, and that "meeting my wife Shakira and having the most wonderful life with her for forty-seven years."

In addition to their daughter, the couple have three grandchildren.

If you're interested in knowing more about Caine's life, you can grab a copy of his book on Amazon.

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Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.