Caine was born in Rotherhithe in London as Maurice Joseph Micklewhite and grew up on a council estate in Camberwell. He was evacuated to Norfolk during the Second World War, and was called up for National Service in the British Army from 1952 to 1954, where he saw combat in the Korean War as part of the Royal Fusiliers.
Caine is known for being outspoken on political matters. He has been married to Shakira, a former model, since 1973. Shakira irritated feminists in the 1980s by stating that if a marriage goes wrong, most of the blame lies with the woman.