Born: 30 September 1952
Birthplace: Manchester, England
Died: 1 March 2006 (cancer)
Best Known As: Jimmie on H.R. Pufnstuf
Jack Wild was still a teenager when he was nominated for an Academy Award for playing the Artful Dodger in the 1968 film of the Charles Dickens tale Oliver. Wild went on to star in the oddly fantastical Saturday-morning series H.R. Pufnstuf and the movie Pufnstuf (1970, with Mama Cass Elliot). Wild lost many years of his later career to alcoholism, but he sobered up and returned to acting in the 1990s. In 2002 he had his larynx (voice box) and tongue surgically removed after being diagnosed with cancer of the mouth; the operation left him unable to speak.
Wild had a small role as one of Robin Hood's merry men in the 1991 Kevin Costner movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves... H.R. Pufnstuf was created by Sid and Marty Krofft, who also produced the Saturday-morning shows Land of the Lost and Lidsville... In a 2005 interview with the BBC, Wild said his cancer was caused by his previous habits: "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."
Rest In Peace Jack Wild
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