Actor Ron Moody has paid tribute to his Oliver! co-star Jack Wild, calling him "a great artist and a great friend".
Ron Moody played Fagin both on stage and in the film Oliver!
"Jack really was cheated out of a great career," said the 82-year-old, who was Fagin to Wild's Artful Dodger in the musical adaptation of Oliver Twist.
"He was easy to work with and made you feel good. He was a professional; his performance was incredible and the film will remain a classic."
Moody last appeared with Wild in the 2005 British film Moussaka and Chips.
"We were talking about getting together and going to see each other," he continued.
"We were more like Laurel and Hardy. We used to call ourselves Fagin and Dodger. We had that kind of bond between us."
Moody said Wild, who suffered from mouth cancer after years of heavy drinking and smoking, was hit by "pressure at a very difficult age".
Wild was 15 when he starred as the Artful Dodger
"He had a talent that should have developed into even more talent as he grew older.
"Pressure makes people react in different ways. Some people plunge in and others take the way out.
"Jack also had bad luck, with the fact that he got so ill. The talent was still there but it didn't work out for him.
The actor had to have his larynx and tongue removed in 2002, prompting Moody to speculate he might "take a new career path and become a mime".
"I never thought he would ever give up. I thought he'd fought it. It's very sad. He was a fighter."