Jack Wild (Actor) as The Artful Dodger - Oliver
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Updated: 3/3/2006

Name: Jack Wild

Born: September 30, 1952, Royton, near Oldham, Lancashire, England.

Claim To Fame: If you're like me you remember Jack from his role in the Sid & Marty Kroft TV Series, "H.R. Pufnstuf".

Probably his other most notable role is that in the movie "Oliver". He won the plum role The Artful Dodger, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his efforts.

At the Hollywood premiere of "Oliver," Jack was introduced to Sid and Marty Krofft, who thought Jack would be the perfect young actor to play the lead in their upcoming Saturday morning kids program, H.R. Puf n' Stuf.

Family Life: Divorced around 1999.

Info: A true sensation, 15-year-old Jack became the darling of the teen magazines with a profitable recording contract and active career in films, including a starring role Alan Parker's first film, "Melody"

After a few years, Jack faded from the limelight, and as with many of teen idols fell in to several years of obscurity, depression and alcohol abuse.

Heavy drinking cost him his career and his health. He has been
sober since 1988.

Trivia: He was discovered by talent agent June Collins. June is the mother of rock star Phil Collins.

The Morrissey song, "Little Man, What Now", which describes a
child-star long faded from the spotlight, is widely believed to be about Jack Wild, although some sources claim that it is Malcolm McFee who is referred to in the song.

Jack also had a Top 10 gold record hit in the UK with his version of The Archies' song "Sugar and Spice"

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Where Are They Now: He passed away on March 1, 2006

In September of 2004 he had emergency surgery after a cancerous growth was discovered in his mouth. As a result of this he lost his tongue and voice box.

But you've got to say he's resilient, before the cancer he was cast in a London stage production of Cinderella (in a small role) and he intends to still perform.

The part has now been re-written so that Jack has a silent role. It starts on December 10th and runs until New Year’s Day 2005.

He communicates through a special voice machine he types words into. There is no word yet on whether he will be able to undergo restorative surgery in the future.

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