Published Jul 11, 2019Actress Denise Nickerson — best known for playing bratty, gum-smacking Violet Beauregarde in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory — has died. The actress passed away Wednesday night (July 10) in hospital near her home of Colorado. She was 62.
Nickerson's family confirmed her death in a Facebook post, writing "She's gone."
Following a series of recent medial issues, Nickerson suffered what was called a "major medical emergency" at home on Monday (July 8). She was soon admitted into intensive care after experiencing seizures that left her in a coma-like state. Nickerson's son and his wife made the decision to take her off life support yesterday.
Nickerson previously suffered a severe stroke in 2018.
Prior to her death, Nickerson's son and daughter-in-law created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for her health care and end-of-life costs. They also shared multiple medical updates via the crowd-funding site.
Nickerson was a young teen when she portrayed the gum-loving Beauregarde in Willy Wonka. Prior to that, she played Alison on Sesame Street spinoff The Electric Company, and Amy Jennings and Nora Collins on Dark Shadows from 1968 to 1970.
She retired from acting at the age of 21 and went on to work as a nurse.