Oliver! star Wild dies
Jack Wild, the actor best known for playing the role of the Artful Dodger in the 1968 film version of Oliver!, has died aged 53.
According to his agent, Wild “died peacefully” after a long battle with oral cancer.
Known to have once been both a heavy smoker and drinker, the performer was diagnosed with cancer in 2001, having a portion of his tongue removed in an operation in 2004. He lost part of his speech but later appeared on stage in pantomime.
Born in Royton, near Oldham, in the fifties, he was plucked from obscurity to star in Carol Reed’s screen version of the musical Oliver! for which he received an Oscar nomination. He later appeared in the TV series HR Pufnstuf in 1969 and more recently in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, alongside Kevin Costner.
A full obituary will appear in a future issue of The Stage.
We need your help…
When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.
The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.
We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.
Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.