Michael Caine: "I Used to Drink a Bottle of Vodka a Day"

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The British screen icon says his wife Shakira stopped him from drinking himself to death.

British acting legend Michael Caine has revealed that he would have probably drunk himself to death were it not for his second wife, Shakira Baksha, whom he married in 1973.

In an interview with Radio Times magazine, the 82-year-old star claimed that he used to hit the bottle due to the stress of his early career, worrying about getting parts, remembering lines and – curiously – getting up early enough in the morning.

"I was a bit of a piss artist when I was younger," he said. "I used to drink a bottle of vodka a day and I was smoking too, several packs a day."

Caine added that it was Baksha who "calmed" him down, saying: "Without her, I would have been dead long ago. I would have probably drunk myself to death."

Caine, who picked up a best actor award and lifetime achievement honor at the European Film Awards in December, described Baksha, a Guyanese-born actress and fashion model with whom he has a daughter, as his "right-hand man." Said Caine: "I tell her everything. I was famous when I met her, but I couldn't have got this far without her."

Caine famously first saw the former Miss World finalist in a TV commercial for Maxwell House coffee in 1971 and discovered via a mutual friend that she lived only a mile away from him in London.