Willy Wonka Star Dies After Sudden Medical Crisis

Rest in peace.

Child actress Denise Nickerson has died following a “major medical emergency” on Monday. The 62-year-old is well known for performing as Violet Beauregarde in the classic film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory alongside Gene Wilder.

Denise is remembered for blowing up into a large blueberry shape after the gum cracking child broke Wonka’s steadfast rules. She was just 13-years-old when she had this breakout role.

Blueberry scene in Willy Wonka

Nickerson had fond memories of working on such a beloved movie. “I’m a very fortunate lady to have been chosen to be a part of something that brings smiles to so many faces,” she said.

Video of Violet’s memorable scene is in the tweet below.

Medical Crisis

On Monday, the child actress suffered a seizure and respiratory and pulmonary crisis. Her condition deteriorated. By Tuesday, she could not exhale on her own because of the quality of lungs and brain activity.

Nickerson died Wednesday, not long after her family decided to remove her equipment. There was a Do Not Resuscitate Order in place and the family felt that her quality of life was compromised. Her son and daughter-in-law, Josh and Jasmine, updated family and fans on Facebook about her condition during this awful and sudden ordeal.

“They just took off all the equipment,” the actress’s son posted on Facebook on Wednesday morning. “None of it was helping, but making her only more uncomfortable. We’re telling her it’s okay to let go.”

“She’s had seizures this morning and is in pulmonary and respiratory distress. The doctors have found that she aspirated and has developed pneumonia,” Nickerson’s daughter-in-law said. “They have upped her oxygen. She’s under a DNR order so they aren’t putting her on a ventilator or feeding tube.”

Nickerson had a pacemaker implanted shortly after suffering a stroke last year.

In addition to Willy Wonka, the child star was also on “The Electric Company” and “The Brady Bunch.” After leaving behind the acting life in 1978, she became a nurse.

Please pray for her loved ones during this difficult time.

  • Categories

  • Leave a Comment