Child star Jack Wild’s life story hits the shelves

It’s A Dodgers Life, the posthumous autobiography of actor Jack Wild, has just been published.

Propelled to stardom at the age of 15, until his tragic death from cancer at the age of 53, ‘It’s A Dodger’s Life’ is the story of actor Jack Wild, in his own words – published for the first time.

Jack was just an ordinary young boy, whose talent was spotted by chance by a theatrical agent, and propelled onto the world stage through his performance in the 1968 film musical ‘Oliver!’  It brought him an Oscar nomination and international stardom.


Jack’s widow Claire Harding, who completed the book, is quoted as saying:

“Jack’s popular legacy will probably always be ‘Oliver!’ and ‘Pufnstuf’, these are still consistently what nearly everyone I meet mentions when Jack’s name comes up. I fear that the legacy promoted by certain sections of the media about Jack i.e. ‘child star to alcoholic to cancer victim’ might be an enduring one, and I hope this book helps to correct that idea. I think the true legacy of Jack should be someone who loved his work and entertaining the public, someone who went from the lowest point of alcoholism to being sober for the rest of his life, and was truly inspirational in turning his life around”.

“Jack is very honest about his younger self in the book, especially the bits he didn’t like. Most of the material about his family and friends will be new to fans, and the detailed story of his alcoholism and recovery has never been told in any kind of detail.”

Even in the face of the tragic diagnosis of mouth cancer which eventually killed him, he remained resolutely optimistic about life.

Completed by Jack’s widow Claire, the book is in Jack’s unique narrative voice with honesty, roguish charm and a breath-taking lack of self-pity.

‘It’s a Dodger’s Life’ is out now in hardback from Fantom, RRP £14.99.  You can order it directly from the publisher.

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