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westofyou
03-02-2006, 06:53 PM
http://www.cox-internet.com/stuckinthe70s/images/160770pinup.jpg
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,60-2066814,00.html


Jack Wild
September 30, 1952 - March 1, 2006
Actor who shot to fame as the Artful Dodger in Oliver!, then paid the price child celebrity often brings
JACK WILD had a truly meteoric career. A natural exhibitionist, he was discovered by an agent while playing football in a public park, entered showbiz at 11 and won an Oscar nomination at 16 for his memorably lively performance as the Artful Dodger in the musical Oliver! A teenage millionaire, he was féted by the major American entertainment companies and signed million-dollar contracts for a TV show and for records. For a while he was a staple feature of the teen magazines. But his fall was as swift as his rise.

The cheeky young lad, with the sparkling eyes and turned-up nose, was into his twenties and growing too old for juvenile roles. He was drinking heavily, his career collapsed and he virtually disappeared for many years.

After successfully fighting alcoholism, he made a modest comeback, working mainly on stage, though he played Much, the miller’s son, in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), with Kevin Costner. He became involved in A Minor Consideration, an American charity offering advice and support to child actors and he wrote an eloquent article cautioning about the pitfalls of early fame and fortune when Daniel Radcliffe was cast in the first Harry Potter film in 2000.

The following year Wild was diagnosed with oral cancer and in 2004 he had his voicebox and tongue removed. Nevertheless he continued working. He was due to appear in Cinderella at the Swan Theatre in Worcester and had the part of Baron Hardup rewritten to exploit his abilities at mime.

Born in Royton, Lancashire, in 1952, he was the son of two millworkers. In 1960 the family moved to London, where Wild’s father worked as a labourer and his mother as a butcher. Wild was spotted by the talent agent June Collins, playing football with her son Phil. Another child actor, Phil Collins, played the Artful Dodger on stage and later became even more famous as an international pop star.

Wild’s family made financial sacrifices to send their son to the Barbara Speake Stage School, but before long he was getting work on a wide variety of television shows, including the Sid James sitcom George and the Dragon, Z Cars and The Wednesday Play. He had a leading role in the Children’s Film Foundation serial Danny the Dragon (1967), with Sally Thomsett, and Peter Butterworth voicing the dragon.

Oliver!, Lionel Bart’s colourful musical adaptation of Oliver Twist, had opened in the West End in 1960, was to run for 2,618 performances and provided regular employment for hundreds of child actors. On stage Wild played Charlie Bates, one of Fagin’s boys.

When Carol Reed turned the show into a film in 1968, Wild was cast as the Artful Dodger, with Mark Lester, who was six years his junior, as Oliver; Ron Moody reprising his stage role of Fagin; and the director’s nephew Oliver as Bill Sykes. A notorious hellraiser, Oliver Reed was not the best role-model for impressionable young actors.

Wild sang several songs in the show, including You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two, Consider Yourself and I’d Do Anything. Although Wild was playing one of the oldest boys, he was so short that he had to have raised platforms on his shoes. His performance was full of natural wit, charm and charisma, without the sentimentality that infects the work of so many Hollywood child actors.

The film was a major hit, grossing $40 million worldwide. It won the Oscar for Best Picture at the 1969 Academy Awards and Wild was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

Elevated to the status of teen idol, Wild signed up to star in his own American TV series H. R. Pufnstuf (1969-70). He played an English boy, with a talking flute, who is marooned on a magic island inhabited by an array of weird creatures, including the friendly dragon of the title. It was variously described as “campy”, “crypto-druggie” and “dark and frightening”. There was also a spin-off feature film. Wild also signed up with Capitol Records and released The Jack Wild Album in 1969. There were two further albums on the Buddha label.

“At an age when most youngsters are preparing for their GCSEs, I was suddenly a jet-setter, briefly the toast of Hollywood and London’s West End,” he said in the article he wrote for A Minor Consideration. “My immature wishes and naive opinions were treated with respect. It was all so flattering and seductive that if you were not careful, you came to believe that you really deserved instant superstar treatment.

“That was part of my problem. That, and an addictive craving for booze, which was to do me and my family so much harm . . . I can remember going to parties where the ‘nibbles’ were great bowls of LSD, marijuana, cocaine, uppers and downers. I remember my jaw dropping when I saw for the first time the stunningly sexy young ladies who were hanging on my every word.

“As an inexperienced teenager from Hounslow, West London, it took me some time to realise that these charming creatures were professional hookers, there only to flatter and to do anything I wanted. In fact, I was a traditional working-class lad and I stuck to the booze. But down the years I paid a heavy price.”

Back in Europe he was reunited with Lester on Melody (1971), a teenage romantic comedy, written by Alan Parker, and with Ron Moody on Flight of the Doves (1971), with Moody as a wicked uncle who pursues Wild’s character and his sister across Ireland. He co-starred with the pop star Donovan in The Pied Piper (1972), playing Gavin, the crippled boy, and made a cameo appearance in the popular BBC series The Onedin Line (1972).

But he was finding it increasingly difficult to cope with fame, fortune and the fickle nature of the two. Suddenly leading roles proved almost impossible to secure and he became increasingly dependent on alcohol. Dickens, the source of his greatest triumph, provided him with some relief in 1976 when he played Charley Hexam in a BBC adaptation of Our Mutual Friend.

By his own admission much of the 1970s and 1980s passed by in a drunken haze, which ultimately cost him both his marriage and his career, though he did play the Mock Turtle in 1982 in a Polish musical adaptation of Alice in Wonderland that also involved Lulu, Paul Nicholas and Susannah York.

He managed to sort out his alcohol problems and pick up the pieces of his acting career in the 1990s. Although his days as a teen idol were long gone, he found work in theatre, television and films, both in the UK and US.

He began a long-term relationship with the actress Claire Harding. His drinking and heavy smoking had taken a toll on his health and his appearance. He developed mouth cancer, which they may have caused.

Only the ghost of the Artful Dodger could be detected in his features, but he continued working, campaigned to raise awareness of the disease and was working on his autobiography. Recently he played a small, supporting role in the film Mousakka and Chips (2005), with his Oliver! co-star Ron Moody. He and Harding married last September.

Jack Wild, actor, was born on September 30, 1952. He died of oral cancer on March 1, 2006, aged 53.

This one's for Kitty
http://www.cox-internet.com/stuckinthe70s/images/160770cover.jpg

Yachtzee
03-02-2006, 09:57 PM
"I've got, you've got, everybody do got someone who cares
by the name of H.R. Pufnstuf
who's your friend when things get rough
H.R. Pufnstuf
Can't do a little 'cause you can't do enough."

G'bye Jimmy

http://www.bugaloos.com/pc-puf.jpg

TeamCasey
03-03-2006, 08:53 AM
I could not get anyone to remember PufNStuf yesterday. I felt old.

Falls City Beer
03-03-2006, 08:56 AM
Two words:

AS-COT

RedFanAlways1966
03-03-2006, 09:23 AM
I could not get anyone to remember PufNStuf yesterday. I felt old.

Some of my earliest TV memories are of H.R. Pufnstuf. I was really young, but I had a brother who was two years older than myself. He was into the Pufnstuf thing and I tended to do what he did!

When I think of H.R. Pufnstuf, it also makes me think of other kid shows at that time, like (and I am curious if others remember these): Batty Hatty from Cincinnati (puppet show done locally in Cincy), Cincy's Uncle Al (of course) and Captain Kangaroo.

IowaRed
03-03-2006, 10:32 AM
I grew up watching HR Pufnstuf and Sigmund and the Sea Monster. Witchiepoo scared the heck out of me. That Krofft stuff was a lot of fun

KittyDuran
03-03-2006, 10:34 AM
Batty Hatty from Cincinnati (puppet show done locally in Cincy)That would be Larry Smith & His Puppets and it was on WXIX (Channel 19) around 4-4:30pm, IIRC. There was also Skipper Ryle on WKRC (Channel 12) in the early morning before the Captain (Skipper was actually the weatherman on the station, IIRC his first name was Glenn).

BTW I was crazy about Ultraman at the time - also on WXIX.

KittyDuran
03-03-2006, 10:36 AM
I grew up watching HR Pufnstuf and Sigmund and the Sea Monster. Witchiepoo scared the heck out of me. That Krofft stuff was a lot of funOne of the episodes that I really remember was the one where Witchiepoo goes to a witches convention and one of the head witches was Mama Cass - who sang (can't remember the song, tho').

IowaRed
03-03-2006, 11:31 AM
One of the episodes that I really remember was the one where Witchiepoo goes to a witches convention and one of the head witches was Mama Cass - who sang (can't remember the song, tho').

it might be here :)

http://krofft.dementedstuff.com/pufnstuf.htm

vaticanplum
03-03-2006, 12:18 PM
I have no idea what you're all talking about, but man was he rad in Oliver. I had tentative plans to marry him as a little kid and was very crushed when I learned that the movie was old and in real life he was an old guy.

He was a terrific little actor in it though. The Artful Dodger, what a great character, a total louse that Jack Wild managed to make seem loveable and redeemable. Come to think of it, I have Jack Wild to blame for a lot in my life. Or is it Dickens? No, Jack Wild was the cute one.

westofyou
03-03-2006, 12:21 PM
I have no idea what you're all talking about,

The swinging early 70's... a time for LSD inspired stuff like Lidsville and the Buggaboos

vaticanplum
03-03-2006, 12:26 PM
The swinging early 70's... a time for LSD inspired stuff like Lidsville and the Buggaboos

What are they though? Witchiepoo?!?

Are these things the predecessors to the Teletubbies? I always thought the Teletubbies were severly drug-induced creations. And have you people seen the Veggietales? They are CHRISTIAN VEGETABLES and they have drugs written all over them.

KittyDuran
03-03-2006, 12:39 PM
it might be here :)

http://krofft.dementedstuff.com/pufnstuf.htmThanks! So it was in a movie, not an episode...

Falls City Beer
03-03-2006, 01:00 PM
What's kind of funny about the Krofft shows is that they all but vanished from television after 1975--not to be seen again until the kitsch-obsessed mid-late 90s. So if you weren't born within about a 7-8 year window of time, chances are you don't remember the immortal Lidsville or Pufnstuf--or the indefatigable Cha-ka.

It was like the culture wanted to exorcise the post-acid frazzle. One day, those shows just vanished, it seems. I guess Land of the Lost was the final straw.

Yachtzee
03-03-2006, 02:26 PM
The swinging early 70's... a time for LSD inspired stuff like Lidsville and the Buggaboos

The Bugaloos...in the air and everywhere.

Anyone remember the Sid and Marty Krofft Power Hour, with Wonderbug, Dr. Shrinker, and Electra Woman and Dynagirl? How about the Lost Space Nuts?

SunDeck
03-03-2006, 02:44 PM
Lidsville!
Man, I have been trying to remember the name of that show for WEEKS!

I was on Skipper Ryle's show once. He seemed like the brooding, half brother of Uncle Al. But in reality it was Uncle Al who was the tyrant. He made my cousin cry on the set one time. And don't get me started about Captain Wendy...

westofyou
03-04-2006, 12:29 AM
Lidsville!
Man, I have been trying to remember the name of that show for WEEKS!

I was on Skipper Ryle's show once. He seemed like the brooding, half brother of Uncle Al. But in reality it was Uncle Al who was the tyrant. He made my cousin cry on the set one time. And don't get me started about Captain Wendy...
I've told this story many times here, but ya might have missed it, Uncle Al came on to my friends wife when she was 18, she went to "ride" horses with her other friend at his farm in the Hillsboro area, when they got there Wendy was not there and they were kinda creeped out, he could tell too.... to try and lighten the mood he left the room and came back with his accordian, it was and I quote, "Quite sad AND funny" The left after that.

My second Uncle Al story involves another friend whose dad had a boat docked near Al's boat, being about ten my friend was always excited about seeing Al down at the docks, occasionally he would be with one of his "Nieces" and there were apparently quite a few. One day Captain Wendy showed up with a .38 and starting shooting it at Al who was with a niece, who in an attempt to save his skin dove into the river.

My Wife was on the show and she was chosen to ride the merry-go-round, she doesn't remember much about the show other than all the moms had on Jacki-O coats and had astronaut wife hair.

westofyou
03-04-2006, 12:36 AM
What are they though? Witchiepoo?!?

Are these things the predecessors to the Teletubbies? I always thought the Teletubbies were severly drug-induced creations. And have you people seen the Veggietales? They are CHRISTIAN VEGETABLES and they have drugs written all over them.

They're the burnt orange and avocado of Saturday Morning TV, Live action, costumed nonsense in 15 minute vignettes, very B Movie serial style.

The trick was the overall "freakyness" of it.... this is when being freaky first hit mainstream media after dancing in the allleys for so long.

It was the day and age of only 4 TV channels, kids would watch anything, Dialing for Dollars, Perry Mason, Hazel, Gilligans Island, Mr Ed all week but on saturday morning it was like party in your living room. Then later that night some half-wit TV host dressed as a ghoul would scare the bejeezus out of you with some creepy Vincent Price movie.

At least that's how I remember it.

Yachtzee
03-04-2006, 11:05 AM
They're the burnt orange and avocado of Saturday Morning TV, Live action, costumed nonsense in 15 minute vignettes, very B Movie serial style.

The trick was the overall "freakyness" of it.... this is when being freaky first hit mainstream media after dancing in the allleys for so long.

It was the day and age of only 4 TV channels, kids would watch anything, Dialing for Dollars, Perry Mason, Hazel, Gilligans Island, Mr Ed all week but on saturday morning it was like party in your living room. Then later that night some half-wit TV host dressed as a ghoul would scare the bejeezus out of you with some creepy Vincent Price movie.

At least that's how I remember it.

That's about how it was for me to, until Cable TV came on the scene in 4th Grade. Well, except that up here in the Cleveland Area, Ghoulardi (yes, that was his name) was on the outs, so Big Chuck and Little John were about the only game in town for the Saturday night horror flick. Just think of how much better horror films with sketches featuring Polish jokes thrown in.

westofyou
03-04-2006, 11:19 AM
Just think of how much better horror films with sketches featuring Polish jokes thrown in.
The Detroit area had a "Cool Ghoul" like Cincinnati, but he wasn't scary and he told TONS of polish jokes, a very popular 70's past time (thank you Mr Bunker)

Yachtzee
03-04-2006, 11:31 AM
The Detroit area had a "Ghoul Ghoul" like Cincinnati, but he wasn't scary and he told TONS of polish jokes, a very popular 70's past time (thank you Mr Bunker)

Yep, these guys would actually do elaborate sketches, similar in style to Jim Varney's "Ernest" character, except the guy was named Stosh and usually involving some jab at Parma, a Cleveland Suburb known for its Slavic community. Since Little John is also a "little person," they would do a lot of stuff playing off of his size. Looking back, I think the night they showed "Blacula" might have been one of the most politically incorrect nights of local TV I've ever seen.

ochre
03-04-2006, 05:26 PM
http://www.70slivekidvid.com/krofftsuper/wbkongs.jpg