[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 2 March 2006, 15:55 GMT
Ron Moody remembers 'friend' Wild
Ron Moody
Ron Moody played Fagin both on stage and in the film Oliver!
Actor Ron Moody has paid tribute to his Oliver! co-star Jack Wild, calling him "a great artist and a great friend".

"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.

'Bad luck'

"We were more like Laurel and Hardy. We used to call ourselves Fagin and Dodger. We had that kind of bond between us."

Jack Wild as the Artful Dodger
Wild was 15 when he starred as the Artful Dodger
Moody said Wild, who suffered from mouth cancer after years of heavy drinking and smoking, was hit by "pressure at a very difficult age".

"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."

Oliver! star Jack Wild dies at 53
02 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
Obituary: Jack Wild
02 Mar 06 |  Entertainment


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific