OLIVER actor Jack Wild is to lose the voice that made him a star - in one last battle with cancer.

English actor Wild, 51, who appeared as the ARTFUL DODGER in the 1968 film musical, is set to have an emergency operation next week (begs12JUL04) to remove his voice box after a cancerous growth was found in his mouth.

A source says, "It's been a terrible time and we all feared he wouldn't be with us much longer.

"He's taking this very seriously and only a handful of people know what he is going through.

"It's a tragedy he will lose his voice box as a result of this but the alternative is too grim to contemplate."

11/07/2004 14:29