Michael Caine is often billed as the accidental movie star, the East End boy who fell into fame, the self-deprecating lad who didn't seem to take anything too seriously and, in turn, found it hard to be taken seriously either.
"In England I was a Cockney actor," he once said. "In America I was an actor." Now 80, it seems harsh that this reputation still somehow remains in his homeland.
Yet flicking through this new 128-page hardback Michael Caine: 60s by Graham Marsh, out this week, which contains hundreds of classic images of Caine at work and play, you realise once more that Caine in his Sixties heyday is as photogenic, and yes, iconic, a movie star as we've had before or since.
From never-before-seen photographs of his on-set preparations and stills taken whilst he worked on many of his greatest films including Zulu, The Ipcress File, Alfie and The Italian Job to nights out with Terence Stamp, Shelley Winters and his Mum, naturally, it's proof that Caine still manages to define the Sixties. Even if he managed to get through them without taking drugs.
"How did I avoid drugs in the Sixtires?" he told Esquire in May. "I was a stage actor and I'd heard marijuana is a big memory buster. I couldn't afford that because I had so much dialogue to remember. That scared me." Always a professional.