Former child actress Denise Nickerson has sadly passed away aged 62. Denise was best known for playing Violet Beauregarde in the original Willy Wonka and The Chocolate factory. The star was rushed to hospital on Monday where she was placed on life support. Denise had suffered a ‘severe stroke’ in June 2018 from which she had never fully recovered. The impact of this as well as suffering from pneumonia and frequent seizures sadly led to her entering a coma-like state from which her condition progressively worsened.
Denise’s family made the decision at 3am on the 10th of July to turn off her life support. In the days leading up to the difficult decision friends and family visited to share fond memories and say their final goodbyes. In a statement from the family, they have said they are ‘heartbroken’.
Denise was just 14 when she starred alongside Gene Wilder in the children’s classic released in 1971. The child star played gum-chewing teen Violet Beauregarde. Before the film, she had starred in a couple of American TV shows. Denise underwent ‘semi-retirement’ from acting at the age of 21. Whilst she did not star in any more films, she did act sporadically whilst also working in the health industry.
Co-star Julie Dawn Cole, who played Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has said in a statement to Fox news that Nickerson’s passing is ‘dreadfully sad’. Julie has also taken to Twitter to write “So very sorry to say that my dear friend and Wonka sister, Denise Nickerson, has gone”.