Latest News: ‘Willy Wonka’ Star Denise Nickerson Dies At Age 62

denise nickerson dead

  • Denise Nickerson, star of 1971 film ‘Willy Wonka’, has died at the age of 62.
  • She had been battling a number of health ailments in recent years, including a stroke in 2018.
  • Her death follows a bout of pneumonia and multiple severe seizures.


It has been reported that Denise Nickerson, star of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, has died at the age of 62. She had been battling a slew of health ailments. Most recently, she had been admitted to the ICU after coming down with pneumonia and suffering a massive seizure. This left her in a coma-like state and she was soon taken off life support.

Just last year, Nickerson had also suffered a massive stroke which left her in critical condition. Since then, she was receiving care under her son and daughter-in-law. The family announced Nickerson’s passing in a Facebook post, saying, “She’s gone.”


Nickerson’s successful past of child acting

Denise Nickerson and family
Denise Nickerson and family / Courtesy Photo/GoFundMe

Denise Nickerson was born on April 1st, 1957. She is a former child actress, best known for her role as Violet Beauregarde in the 1971 film, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.  During her time as an actress, she would also appear as Allison on The Electric Company and Amy Jennings and Nora Collins in the soap opera Dark Shadows.

She was born in New York City and began making appearances on TV shows in the late 1960s. However, her big break wasn’t until 1968 when she would appear on Dark Shadows. Despite this being known as her “big break,” her most notable role is still alongside Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka.


denise nickerson on the set of willy wonka
Willy Wonka cast / Warner Bros.

Continued success after ‘Willy Wonka’

After Willy Wonka, she would go onto appear in The Electric Company and even auditioned for the role of Regan in The Exorcist, which would ultimately go to Linda Blair. She also appears in the TV movie The Man Who Could Talk To Kids and the film Smile. However, in 1976, her career comes to a halt when she is hit by a car while crossing the street.

She is in a leg cast to heal for a full eight months before returning to work. She would appear in the 1978 films Zero to Sixty and TV film Child of Glass before ultimately quitting acting and becoming a nurse.

denise nickerson in 2014
Denise Nickerson / Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

The family of Nickerson has been by her side the entire time at the hospital. They have allegedly set up a GoFundMe account to honor the actress’s final wishes of cremation and having her ashes turned into glass artwork.

Denise Nickerson is survived by her son, Josh, and her daughter-in-law. May she rest in peace. Let’s remember some of Nickerson’s best moments, perhaps from the film we all know her best for.


Take a look at this story about 15 other former child stars you may remember! They’re all grown up now.

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