When Michael Caine, the actor, comes to mind, what’s the first thing you think?
I always had a really good impression of him: down to earth, good sense of humor, kindhearted -- and a great actor. Even though you believe him when he portrays a bad guy, he seems on talk shows and otherwise to be the kind of person you’d like as a friend.
Fortunately, I can tell you that, in my brief encounter with Michael Caine at the Main Squeeze in the cloakroom, that he was REALLY COOL.
He seemed to wear his kindness, warmth, and magnanimousness on his sleeve -- but his cashmere overcoat needed to be fetched and I was nearest to the cloakroom in my behind-the-bar location, washing glasses as usual.
“May I help you, sir?” my voice raised its pitch several levels as soon as I realized who I was dealing with. Michael Caine has an unmistakable face and voice, and he definitely had one of those “larger than life” presences.
“We need to find my coat, luv.” Once he told me the kind of coat -- a long, dark blue cashmere overcoat with no particular label mentioned -- we set to rummaging through the piles of outerwear like weathered teammates.
“Thank you, luv!” Once the coat was found, Caine handed me a fiver for tip, then took off, smiling, happy, a little tipsy but no worse for wear.
As for other celebrities who surprised me with the opposite attitude, there was a certain singer, half of a legendary duo from New York, no less. . .