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Michael Caine shuns luxury items out of respect for poorer families

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Jun 03, 2012 | 5:15am EDT

The Get Carter star grew up in poverty in London before striking it rich thanks to his hugely successful acting career.

But the kind-hearted actor has never forgotten his roots and reveals he has turned his back on a number of luxury items, even swapping a gold Rolex watch for a plastic timepiece, because he thinks it sends the wrong message during the financial downturn.

He tells Britain's The People newspaper, "I used to drive a Rolls (Royce) and all that but they were just too ostentatious for this world now. I had to get rid of them. It didn't feel right to be all showy when there are people scraping and scrimping to feed their loved ones. I just get driven around in a Lexus which you wouldn't look at twice - it's just grey. I still have the Rolex but I leave that in a drawer and wear this cheap black plastic one instead. It does the job.

"I'm very fortunate I live in fantastic luxury but it doesn't mean I should forget where I come from. I've seen both sides - rich and poor. That's why all that bling has gone. I don't need all that."

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