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Denise Nickerson Dead: Willy Wonka Violet Beauregarde Actress Dies, Aged 62

HuffPost UK logo HuffPost UK 11/07/2019 Matt Bagwell
Denise Nickerson and woman posing for a photo © Rex Denise Nickerson

Denise Nickerson, who played Violet Beauregarde in the classic 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, has died at the age of 62.

The former child star’s death comes after her family announced that they had chosen to take her off life support after she suffered a seizure.

They confirmed news of her death to US website TMZ in the early hours of Thursday morning, before posting a message on their family Facebook page, which simply read: “She’s gone.”

Denise’s family said the actress suffered a “severe stroke that caused extreme damage” last year, and on Monday was taken to the emergency room and then the ICU, where she was diagnosed with pneumonia. The “massive seizure” occurred the next day.

Denise Nickerson wearing glasses: Denise Nickerson (1957-2019) © Bobby Bank via Getty Images Denise Nickerson (1957-2019) On Wednesday, her son, Josh, wrote on a public Facebook page that gives fans updates about her health: “They just took off all the equipment. None of it was helping, but making her only more uncomfortable. We’re telling her it’s okay to let go.”

Denise, who landed her breakout role when she was only 13 years old, left Hollywood in 1978 to become a nurse.

But she still had fond memories of her time with the Wonka family, gathering with her co-stars for a sweet reunion in 2015 to reminisce on the good old days.

She also paid her respects to comedy legend and co-star Gene Wilder when he died in 2016.

a group of people looking at each other: Denise played played Violet Beauregarde in the classic 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory © Rex Denise played played Violet Beauregarde in the classic 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

As well as Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, Denise appeared on the television series Dark Shadows, The Electric Company and on an episode of The Brady Bunch.

Her family is seeking financial help for Denise’s funeral arrangements as she is unable to leave inheritance funds and has no life insurance.

They have launched a GoFundMe campaign to fund Denise’s final wishes for her remains to be made into a piece of glass art after cremation.

Her son Joshua said: “We hate to ask but we desperately need help. We don’t need flowers and or cards. We just need some peace of mind. It’s 4 am now and we are saying our goodbyes and taking turns. If you can help us, we would be so very grateful.”

The family have already exceed their goal of raising $10,000 (£8,000).

MSN are empowering Women In Sport this summer. Find out more about our campaign and the charity fighting to promote the transformational and lifelong rewards of exercise for women and girls in the UK here.

Gallery: Stars we lost in 2019 (Wonderwall)


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