Thursday, March 02, 2006

Artful Dodger/Jimmy on H.R. Pufnstuff Dies - Age 53

Photo of Artful Dodger, Fagin and Oliver from
This link from MSN is the obituary for Jack Wild, the Artful Dodger from the movie, "Oliver" and Jimmy, the boy with the magic flute named Freddie on "H.R. Pufnstuf". He had problems with booze and drugs after and during his "child actor" years.He attributed the mouth cancer that claimed his tongue and larnyx in 2004 to his binging ways...
His first and most famous role was that of the Artful Dodger in "Oliver", the movie, taking the part that Davy Jones, another Manchester, England heartthrob of the late 60s, had made his own in David Merrick's West End production of the musical. Davy, it's said, was too involved with the Monkees to make the movie and Jack was cast instead... At any rate, Jack was another of those utterly adorable British boys that so many of us American girls were nuts over in the 60s - at least the girls who weren't into the acid-tripping British rockers...Jack was one of those guys that came across as a nice clean-cut boy next door - well, maybe exchange student next door. Who knew? Of course, there's a
website that says H.R. Pufnstuf was an "innocent childhood TV series revealed as pro-pot psychedelia"... But I blissfully did not know and refused to believe it was anything but just magic!
Happy trails, Jack - may all be one big Living Island for you!!

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