Denise Nickerson, Who Played Violet Beauregarde in ‘Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory,’ Dies at 62

Actress had also starred in the 1960s vampire TV series “Dark Shadows”

Last Updated: July 11, 2019 @ 6:50 AM

Denise Nickerson, a child actress best known for playing Violet Beauregarde in the 1971 classic “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” died late Wednesday at age 62, her family announced on Facebook.

Nickerson suffered a “major medical emergency” at home Monday that caused her to be admitted to the intensive care unit of a Colorado hospital, according to the Facebook page. She had suffered a severe stroke in June 2018.

She was best known for her role in the original “Willy Wonka,” playing the spoiled gum-chewing brat who steals an experimental piece of gum and then blows up like an oversize blueberry and has to be rolled out of sight by the Oompa-Loompas.

She also played Amy Jennings and Nora Collins in the vampire TV series “Dark Shadows” from 1968-70. Other credits included guest appearances in “The Brady Bunch” and “The Electric Company” as well as a role on the CBS soap “Search for Tomorrow.” In 1978, at age 21, she left Hollywood to pursue a career in nursing.

Nickerson’s family, including her son Josh and his wife, Jasmine, set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for her death expenses, including plans to honor “Denise’s wish … to be cremated and her ashes made into a piece of glass art.”

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