Sir Michael Caine on old age: I know my days are numbered

'I’ve had to cut back on the drinking and I’m always looking up what’s the best thing against cancer,' says iconic actor

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Michael Caine has said he fears dying of cancer and is becoming aware his “days are numbered”.

The veteran actor, who is 84, revealed he has been on a health kick and managed to lose two stones. Caine said he had cut down on drinking and banned sugar, salt and gluten from meals.

The Oscar winner, who has starred in countless films over a career spanning five decades, explained he was keen to see his grandchildren grow up.

“I know my days are numbered and that’s the main worry,” he told The Sun on Sunday.

“I’ve had to cut back on the drinking and I’m always looking up what’s the best thing against cancer, so I’ll eat that or do this or not do that.”

“I’ll probably drop dead talking to you but you know I’ve lost 13 kgs just because I want to see my grandchildren. They’re twins of six and a boy of seven. I’d like to get to 17 for the boy.”

Caine praised his wife Shakira, who is 70, for helping him get out of the habit of heavy drinking.

“Without her, I’d have been dead long ago,” he said. “I used to drink a bottle of vodka a day and smoke several packs of cigarettes.”

The London-born film icon, who has starred in everything from Zulu (1964), to Get Carter (1971) and, more recently, Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy (2005-2012), appears in heist comedy film Going in Style which will be released next month. 

Directed by Zach Braff, the film sees three lifelong friends, Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin, risk it all and rob a bank after their pensions are cancelled.

“When the offers of work stop I will say I have retired. The film business will have to give me up, not the other way around," Caine said.