On June 28, 1971, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory premiered in Chicago, Illinois. When it hit U.S. theaters on June 30, the film became a favorite of both parents and children alike.
This timeless classic has been loved by many for its fun music, colorful sets, and “sweet” — and not-so-sweet — characters.
While we really couldn’t stand the obnoxious Veruca Salt or the gum-obsessed Violet Beauregarde, we couldn’t help but fall in love with Charlie Bucket’s mother, played by Diana Sowle.
The film features a number of laughable moments. But when Mrs. Bucket sings “Cheer Up Charlie,” plenty of people start reaching for the tissues.
Sowle’s role was small, as Charlie’s Grandpa Joe ended up going to the factory with the young boy. Still, Mrs. Bucket impacted our hearts, and we never forgot her angelic voice.
Now we’re saying a sad and heartbroken farewell to Sowle, who passed away on Friday, October 19, Metro reported.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of beloved friend, family member and actress Diana Sowle…” a statement from her agent read.
“She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend, and will be dearly missed.” the statement continued.
Born on June 19,1930, Sowle loved the theater. Though possibly most well known for her role in Willy Wonka, she also made appearances in Clear and Present Danger (1994) and Guarding Tess (1994).
IMDB states that Sowle was very active in the theater where she lived with her husband in Washington, D.C. He passed away in 2013.
Her fondness of the film shines through as she speaks of how the film is one the entire family can enjoy, even to this day.
“It’s nice that it’s still so popular…” she told Capital Gazette. “Kids love the thought of going to a chocolate factory.”
According to the statement released by Sowle’s agent, she was known for more than her acting skills. The 88-year-old also headed up a free tutoring program for underprivileged children near her home in Washington, D.C.
Sowle is said to have passed away in peace, surrounded by those she loved. Our thoughts are with the family at this time.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.