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Jack Wild (1952-2006)

English-born teen idol of Oliver! and H.R. Pufnstuf.

Died March 1, 2006, of mouth cancer. He was 53.


  • Stricken with mouth cancer in 2000. After two-year remission, cancer returned in late 2004, prompting surgery to remove his tongue and voice box.
  • Blamed his cancer on years of heavy drinking and smoking.
  • Said he spent much of 1970s and 1980s in a "drunken haze."
  • Sobered up in 1989.
  • 1968 Academy Award Best Supporting Actor nominee, at age 16, for his singing, dancing turn as The Artful Dodger in Oliver!.
  • Played the Dodger on the London stage prior to being cast in the film.
  • Teen idol status in the United States boosted by Pufnstuf.
  • Released several pop albums in the early 1970s.
  • Played the Hollywood Bowl with the Brady Bunch kids and Johnny Whitaker.


  • Jack Wild
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