Michael Caine’s tragic pact with doctor over dad’s cancer: ‘Just give him an overdose’ | Celebrity News | Showbiz and television
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Michael Caine’s cult comedy classic The Italian Job airs from 3.50pm on ITV4 today. The 1969 film remains one of Caine’s best-loved films and follows the story of his character, Charlie Croker, who, upon his release from prison, is enlisted by crime boss Mr. Bridger to perform a daring robbery. With a band of crooks gathered to try and steal gold bars from the back of an Italian van, Croker and his team face a number of serious obstacles, including the mafia.
Londoner Caine has a stellar catalog of iconic roles, which has seen the actor win two Oscars and countless nominations during his career.
And while a lot is known about his talents in front of the camera, when it comes to his personal life, some of it remains unknown.
This includes the heartbreaking moment Caine urged a doctor to help his father stop feeling pain as he suffered from a terminal illness.
Initially, the doctor was reluctant to help, but soon made a pact with Caine to ensure his beloved father no longer struggled.
Michael Caine’s tragic pact with doctor over dad’s cancer: ‘Just give him an overdose’
Michael Caine with his wife
Caine’s father, Maurice Micklewhite, was a Billingsgate fish market porter and died in hospital aged 55 from liver cancer.
Speaking to Classic FM in 2010, Caine noted how he was told in 1956 that Maurice only had four days to live, so he took matters into his own hands and spoke to his doctor.
He said: “My dad had liver cancer and I was so distressed by the pain he was in, that I told this doctor, I said, ‘Is there nothing anything else you can, just give him an overdose and finish it’, because I wanted him to leave and he was like ‘Oh no, no, no, we couldn’t do that.’
“Then, as I was leaving, he said, ‘Come back at midnight.’ I came back at midnight and my father died at 12:05…”
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Michael Caine in the Ipcress file
Caine was pressed on whether he was okay with voluntary euthanasia, a practice which was made illegal under the Suicide Act of 1961. He said “Oh I think so, yes”.
The 89-year-old added: “I think if you’re in a state where life is no longer bearable, if you want to go. I’m not saying someone else should make the decision, but I took the request, but my father was half unconscious.”
At the time of the report, Sir Keir Starmer, then Director of Public Prosecutions, issued guidelines in 2009 stating that a person acting out of compassion would likely not be prosecuted under the law.
Caine himself has discussed his own health battles and has recently been the subject of speculation regarding his recent appearances.
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Michael Caine in The Italian Job
Earlier this year, Suggest reported that some of Caine’s friends were concerned about his seemingly failing health, noting that he had been “looking pretty terrible” recently.
An insider added: “He seems to have aged very quickly with the operation and de facto acting retirement. Everyone is very worried about what’s next.”
Caine, who has also starred in films such as the Alfie and The Dark Knight Batman series, was recently caught with his walker and cane.
These were first used as a temporary measure to help him following an ankle accident in 2018.
Filming locations in the UK
On BBC Radio Two in January, Caine discussed his health in more detail, noting: “I have a spinal problem which affects my leg so I can’t walk very well.
“And I’ve also written a few books, which have been published and have been successful.
“I’m not an actor anymore, I’m a writer, which is good because as an actor you have to get up, go out at six in the morning and go to the studio.
“Writer, you just started writing without leaving the bed.”
It had been speculated that Caine had retired from the acting profession, but the star moved on to allay fears that his screen life was over.
He added to Variety, “When it comes to retirement, I’ve spent over 50 years getting up at 6 a.m. to make movies, and I can’t get rid of my alarm clock!”
The Italian Job airs from 3.50pm on ITV4.