Actress Who Played Violet in 'Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory' Has Passed Away

The world lost another actress who played a major role in many people’s childhoods on July 10, 2019. Denise Nickerson has passed away at the age of 62.

The former child star was struggling with multiple health problems and seemed to know her time was drawing near. In 2018, she experienced a massive stroke and has been ailing since.

Nickerson’s son, Joshua, and daughter-in-law, Jasmine, had taken her into their home, with Jasmine quitting her job to function as her mother-in-law’s primary caregiver, according to the family’s GoFundMe page.

On July 8, while Joshua and Jasmine were out for just a few minutes, Nickerson reportedly got into her medications. While doctors managed to get her into a stable condition, she was also struggling with pneumonia.

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The next day, Nickerson had a seizure and her condition plummeted. By then the family knew that she wouldn’t be with them much longer, and tried to make her as comfortable as possible.

“They just took off all the equipment,” the couple posted to their Facebook page on July 10. “None of it was helping, but making her only more uncomfortable. We’re telling her it’s okay to let go.”

“Josh is not okay at all,” Jasmine wrote. “He’s never really experienced a major loss like this. I’m just trying to support him as best I can.”

“Please send him love or words of comfort. He is just coming to terms with the reality of the situation and doesn’t know how to process it. He says to me a few minutes ago that she won’t ever get to see or hold or know her granddaughter.”

Even though the couple is excited about the child they are expecting, this loss understandably casts a shadow over their joy. To complicate matters, they seem to be struggling financially, which is why they created the GoFundMe in the first place.

“We cannot afford to pay for death expenses,” they wrote on the page. “Although she had the fame and notoriety, there is no inheritance. No life insurance. No end of life nest egg. Just our income which isn’t even enough.”

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“And Denise’s wish is to be cremated and her ashes made into a piece of glass art. We will need to urgently pay for these things as well as need help with our home expenses. Rent, bills, groceries. Jasmine is not working due to her caring for Denise and trying to apply for jobs while home sick and pregnant, and Josh is missing work from both jobs to be here in the hospital.”

Fans of the late actress have shown up in droves, donations at the ready. Some remember her as Violet Beauregarde, others as Amy Jennings or Nora Collins. According to the Hollywood Reporter, she had a relatively short show career, leaving the field in 1978 to take up nursing.

Nickerson landed roles in multiple television shows after her first part in the show “Flipper” in 1965, and reached many people — evident by the fact that the family has received over $13,000 of donations in 24 hours, $3,000 more than they asked for.

While the grief over the loss of their mother and grandmother-to-be will be present for some time, thankfully the couple shouldn’t have to struggle too much to come up with the funds they so desperately need to honor the late actress’ wishes without endangering themselves.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking