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Thread: Oliver! star dies.

  1. #1
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Default Oliver! star dies.

    Actor Jack Wild, who played The Artful Dodger in 1968 film Oliver!, has died at the age of 53.
    Wild was nominated for an Oscar when he was just 16 for the role. He also starred in late-1960s US children's fantasy TV series HR Pufnstuf.

    He suffered from mouth cancer after years of heavy drinking and smoking and had his voice box and tongue removed.

    Wild's agent Alex Jay said the actor "died peacefully at midnight last night after a long battle with oral cancer".

    Wild was diagnosed with the disease in 2000 and was unable to speak, drink or eat after having surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

    He had to communicate through his wife and his meals were delivered in liquid form via a tube that went straight into his stomach.

    Wild recently said: "Until I was diagnosed with mouth cancer, I'd never heard of it.


    Jack Wild was diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2000
    "What I learned very quickly was that my lifestyle had made me a walking time bomb.

    "I was a heavy smoker and an even heavier drinker and apparently together they are a deadly mixture."

    The former child star from Royton, near Oldham, made his TV debut aged 13.

    He had a string of screen credits when he was chosen to star as the pickpocketing urchin in the musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' Oliver!

    The role saw him appear alongside Oliver Reed and Harry Secombe in one of the final films to be directed by British movie legend Carol Reed.


    Wild also appeared in BBC drama Our Mutual Friend in 1976
    The film's success helped Wild land the starring role in popular children's series HR Pufnstuf, in which he played a boy with a magic flute on a psychedelic island.

    The vivid and outlandish stories and imagery led to a spin-off film, Pufnstuf, in 1970.

    But his acting career failed to take off and his TV and film roles became patchy in quality and frequency as the years progressed.

    He said he spent the "70s and 80s in a drunken haze" but had been sober since 1990 and returned to screens with a small role in 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

    He was reunited with Ron Moody - who played Fagin in Oliver! - in independent film Moussaka & Chips last year

    bbc.co.uk
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  2. #2
    Hit By Ban Bus! UndercoverGator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oliver! star dies.

    Aaahhh, how sad! Another one of my crushes dead. When I was just a girl I had a thing for Jack Wild after seeing him every single Saturday on HR Puffnstuff and he was always in 16 magazine and in Tiger Beat every month. So cute in those days, so fugly as an adult..

  3. #3
    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oliver! star dies.

    Awww, that's so sad. I remember being in the UK many years ago and he and the guy who played Oliver were on a talkshow together. He'd remained short and stocky and the Oliver kid was quite tall and muscular. Wild still looked like the little hoodlum he played in the movie. What a sad and horrible way to go. R.I.P.
    Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.

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    Silver Member Mofo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oliver! star dies.

    Awww...that is sad. I loved the Artful Dodger.

    I've given up smoking for 2 months and that gives me even more reason to never smoke again!!

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    Bronze Member pinkdiamondgrl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oliver! star dies.

    Such a young age to go. Poor guy.

    I quit smoking three years ago, I really miss it-I want one when I see people smoking in a social setting, but no way can I convince myself I could just be a "social smoker" or have one occasionally. Been there, done that.

    Stories like this make me grateful that I was able to quit.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Oliver! star dies.

    Quote Originally Posted by UndercoverGator
    Aaahhh, how sad! Another one of my crushes dead. When I was just a girl I had a thing for Jack Wild after seeing him every single Saturday on HR Puffnstuff and he was always in 16 magazine and in Tiger Beat every month. So cute in those days, so fugly as an adult..
    He was one of my first crushes too! I'm glad I've never seen him as an adult. What a terrible way to go. Hopefully it wasn't too horrific for him.

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