'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory' actress Denise Nickerson, who played Violet Beauregarde, in critical condition after stroke
Denise Nickerson, who played the gum-chewing brat-turned-human-blueberry Violet Beauregarde in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” is in critical condition after suffering a stroke in late June, according to her family.
The former child actress, 61, is in the Intensive Care Unit, her family shared on a Facebook page titled “Support for Jasmine and Josh Nickerson.” Josh is Nickerson’s son from her second marriage to Mark Willard.
Nickerson played Violet Beauregarde in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” (Wolper/Warner Bros/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)
The page has offered fans multiple updates over the last month, and a post Tuesday said Nickerson successfully had a pacemaker put in, and was expected to receive a stomach feeding tube Wednesday.
The family has also called for donations to aid in medical expenses.
Nickerson rose to fame in the 1971 adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic as the bad-mannered Violet, who morphs into a human blueberry after chewing a special gum containing a three-course meal.
She retired from acting in the late ’70s after appearing in a pair of soap operas, “Dark Shadows” and “Search for Tomorrow,” as well as a 1974 episode of “The Brady Bunch.”