For Jack Wild, success came early and big. Discovered by an agent while playing soccer in a London park with his older brother, Arthur, Jack was enrolled in a actors school and began going on auditions at the age of 11.

As with many other boy-actors in the London area, he was cast in the stage production of "Oliver!," and joined with hundreds of other castmates at the audition for the film. Jack 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 puppeteers Sid and Marty Krofft, who decided that Jack would be the perfect young actor to play the lead in their upcoming saturday-morning kids program, "H.R. Puf ’n' Stuf." Jack and his brother left London for the US, and moved in with Marty Krofft and his family while they filmed 17 episodes of the series plus a feature film based on the show.

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

After a few years, Jack faded from the limelight, and as with many of his idol cohorts fell in to several years of obscurity, depression and alcohol abuse. In the '90s, he re-emerged, clean and sober and sought a comeback as an actor. He appeared in several plays and also began making appearances at collectors shows signing autographs and spread news of working on an autobiography (that never emerged.) Look for him in in "Robin Hood: Prince of Theives"

Lion). Tragedy struck Jack in 2004, when he was diagnosed with mouth cancer and had dramtic surgery that left him mute. He remarried and seemed to be doing well, though, sadly, the cancer came back and he passed away on March 1, 2006.

• Jack was several years older than his "Oliver!" co-star, Mak Lester, but he was so short and apeared so youthful that the movie's producers had him wear lifts to make him look more mature

• It took three weeks to shoot the complicated "Consider Yourself" sceen in "Oliver!"

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