Jack Wild was born to working class parents in Manchester, England. At age 4, June Collins (the mother of Phil Collins), an agent spotting child talent agent discovered him and his brother Arthur as potential performers.
Morrissey wrote the song Little Man, What Now in tribute to their success on television dramas before landing their breakout role in Oliver!, which catapulted them both into stardom. Their stalled careers inspired the lyrics for Morrissey’s Little Man, What Now?.
Early Life and Education
Jack Wilds was born and raised in Royton, Lancashire England by a working-class family; his mother worked as a milkman to support them financially. At twelve, Jack and Arthur Wilds were discovered playing football by June Collins, mother of future rockstar Phil Collins – she invited them both to attend Barbara Speake Stage School in Acton London and enrolled them.
The boys quickly secured roles in Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver!, while also appearing in television shows like Out of the Unknown and Z Cars. Following the success of H.R Pufnstuf: the film version, they went on to star in various children’s and teen movies such as Melody and Flight of the Doves.
Wilds has composed numerous chamber music compositions and his band compositions have been performed at UIL competitions, national conventions and by collegiate ensembles. His works draw upon visual art, philosophical texts, poetry and absolute musical influences to produce works which meet performers where they are while inspiring authentic artistic music making.
Jack Wild was quickly in demand after his breakthrough as Artful Dodger in Carol Reed’s classic film version of Oliver!. Taking up roles such as HR Pufnstuff (he played a flute-playing dragon).
His television appearances included playing Dickens in The Onedin Line, appearing in an iconic serialisation of Our Mutual Friend and appearing as another peddler in Basil. By the late ’70s however, film opportunities had diminished substantially and he turned back to provincial pantomime stages as Buttons in Cinderella and Heaven’s Up!.
David continued composing music for bands worldwide and many of his works are required repertoire lists for orchestras across the world. Furthermore, he was an active clinician and educator particularly at high school levels.
Achievement and Honors
Jack Wild is guided by his life path number 2, which indicates his motivations are to promote and maintain community and harmony within relationships. Additionally, he serves as a peacemaker who is highly attuned to other’s emotions.
His most recent compositions for band are published by FJH Music Company and Grand Mesa Music, while he remains active as a clinician, adjudicator, teacher across the United States and has worked with performers of all ages.
Oliver! earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination along with Ron Moody as Fagin, while in April 1969, five months short of turning 16, he appeared at the Oscar telecast – this makes for an extraordinary accomplishment for any actor!
Beginning his career on an upbeat note, he played adult roles in several television series including Lift Off with Ayshea and The Banana Splits Show; though unfortunately he only recalls these appearances partially.
He then came in contact with the Krofft brothers who cast him in their groundbreaking psychedelic eye-popping series H.R. Pufnstuf for its one and only season and subsequent film adaptation. He performed this role brilliantly both ways!
His career then started to decline and decent roles became scarcer; meanwhile, his drinking had reached dangerous levels. His autobiography It’s a Dodger’s Life is an eye-opening read; unfortunately he died in 2006.
Jack Wild, former Zookeeper, is in advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. According to Suzi Egli, Jack cannot recall many members of his family; however he does recognize her and their dog Brassy.
Jack Wild was born on 30 September 1952 in Royton, England and became famous for his performance as Artful Dodger in Oliver! at sixteen. This performance earned him an Academy Award nomination that same year. Additionally he appeared in H.R. Pufnstuff television show and in 1971 movie Melody.
What do you think of Jack Wild’s drug usage? Does he smoke cigarettes, marijuana, or take stronger substances such as cocaine or heroin? Share your opinion in the comments below!