Oliver musical star Jack Wild’s book written by his widow now on sale at Hitchin’s Waterstones

Claire Harding

Claire Harding - Credit: Archant

A book written by the widow of a much-loved actor who starred in the Oscar nominated film musical Oliver! is now being stocked in Hitchin Waterstones.

Claire Harding-Wild’s book on her late husband called Jack Wild: It’s a dodgers life details the story of an ordinary boy who was propelled onto the world stage through his appearance in the iconic 1968 starring Oliver Reed.

As Jack’s fame grew jack also began to battle alcoholism, which came to dominate his life. After the glittery highs of the late 60s and 70s came the ‘lost decade’ of the 1980s, the lows of debts and sectioning under the mental health act.

Author Claire said: “But this isn’t a memoir of pity and darkness. Jack loved life and loved his life. In the 1990s, fully sober he returned to the screen in films such as Robin Hood: Princes of Thieves.

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

The hardback book retails on £19.99 and is on sale in Waterstones in Market Place now.

Claire, from Lower Stondon adds: “I’m thrilled the book is in Waterstones.

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“Jack didn’t really understand why people would be interested to read about him.

“Even at the height of his career, when he was receiving 20,000 fan letters a week, he wondered why they were all writing to him and thought ‘surely, they’ve got something better to do.’

“So Jack would be thrilled and amazed that it has ended up in a proper bookshop!”