Sir Michael Caine's friends abandoned him when he became an actor.

The 'Harry Brown' actor - now a multimillionaire - admitted his childhood pals were upset that his new career left him unable to buy any drinks at their local pub in London.

When asked how his friends behaved towards him when he first started acting, he said: "It's the opposite of what you imagine: they blew me out at first.

"I was a broke, out-of-work actor, and I didn't have enough money to buy a round in the pub. So they stopped seeing me. Broke, out-of-work actors are very lonely people."

Michael, 76 - who grew up in south London's Elephant and Castle district - said he felt "tremendous sense of guilt" for becoming rich and leaving his former friends behind him.

He explained: "Not everyone's going to be a multi-millionaire movie star, but at least they can get a decent job and making a decent living and lead a happy life. That's the minimum. But some of them never got the chance."

Michael also revealed that his mother couldn't understand how much money he was earning when he became a star.

He added to Esquire magazine: "One day she said to me, 'How much do you get for a film?' I said, 'A million pounds, Mum.' Well, she thought for a minute, and then she said, 'How much is that then?' "