Belfast Telegraph

Sir Michael Caine: I would have probably drunk myself to death without my wife

Sir Michael Caine says he would have been dead "long ago" had he not married Shakira Baksh.

The two married in 1973 and have a daughter, Natasha.

Sir Michael had previously been married, to the actress Patricia Haines, but credits Baksh - now Lady Caine - with making him a reformed character.

He told the Radio Times: "Without her I would have been dead long ago. I would have probably drunk myself to death. I was a bit of a piss artist when I was younger, I used to drink a bottle of vodka a day and I was smoking too, several packs a day.

"I wasn't unhappy but it was stress. You know, 'Am I going to get another picture? How am I going to do this part? How am I going to remember all those lines? I've got to get up at 6 in the morning and I hope the alarm works.' There was always some stressful thing.

"Meeting Shakira calmed me down."

The 82-year-old added: "She's my right-hand man, my confidante. I tell her everything. I was famous when I met her, but I couldn't have got this far without her."

:: This week's Radio Times goes on sale on January 19.

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