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Caine’s ageing woes

The veteran British actor, 77, was perusing scripts in the early 1990s when he suddenly felt irritated that he had been pencilled in for the role of an old man.

But when a stunned Caine peered at his reflection in a mirror, he noticed the years were catching up with him – and realised he would never again play roguish roles such as womaniser Alfie in the 1966 film.

In his new autobiography, The Elephant To Hollywood, he tells how he wrongly assumed he would be playing a young lover in a new movie until the producer phoned him at home.

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Caine writes, “(He said) ‘No, no – you’re not the lover, I want you to read the part of the father!’ I put the phone down and stood there, shocked. ‘The father? Me?’ I headed into the bathroom and looked in the mirror.

“Yes, staring back at me was, indeed, the father – and so was someone else. In the mirror was a leading movie actor, not a movie star. I realised the only girl I’d ever get to kiss in a film again would be my daughter… I had always known that this time would come. I was 58. Should I give up or keep going?… I had reached the period of my life I called the twilight zone. The spotlight of movie stardom was fading and it all seemed gloomy.”

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