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Willy Wonka child star Denise Nickerson has been taken off life support: Who is the actress who played Violet Beauregarde?

Denise Nickerson
Denise Nickerson taken off life support a year after suffering stroke. Pic credit: Gabbo/Wikimedia Commons

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory child star Denise Nickerson is dying in a hospital after her family took her off life support.

The news comes after she suffered a stroke in June of last year and reportedly attempted to end her own life earlier this week.

Nickerson, 62, best known for the of Violet Beauregarde in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, has been in the care of her son Josh and his wife Jasmine since she suffered the stroke last year.

Josh and Jasmine said they chose to care for her at their home so they wouldn’t have to place her in a care home.

Josh revealed on Monday that Denise suffered a medical emergency and had to be admitted to ICU. Josh said the medical emergency happened when he and his wife Jasmine were away briefly, and Denise attempted to end her own life by overdosing on her medication.

When they came back home and realized what happened they rushed her to the ER where her condition worsened.

She suffered a seizure and developed respiratory problems.  She soon went into a “coma-like” state, forcing doctors to place her on life support.

Josh shared on Facebook Wednesday that they took her off life support and she was no longer receiving medication.

Josh explained they took her off life support so she could pass away in comfort. He explained that although Denise achieved fame and success as an actress early in life “she has no inheritance. No life insurance. No end of life nest egg” to fund her funeral.

He said his wife Jasmine gave up her full-time job to care for Denise and they haven’t been making enough income, causing them to struggle financially.

They set up a GoFundMe page for her funeral costs. Denise, according to Josh, wishes “to be cremated and her ashes made into a piece of glass art.”

“We hate to ask but we desperately need help. We don’t need flowers and or cards. We just need some peace of mind. If you can help us, we would be so very grateful,” Josh wrote on the GoFundMe page they set up.

Who is Denise Nickerson?

Besides her role as Violet in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Denise appeared in several movies and TV shows.

She played the recurring roles of Amy Jennings and Nicole Collins in ABC-TV’s Dark Shadows and appeared as Paula Miller in the 1971 TV movie Neon Ceiling. She guest-starred as Pamela in one episode of The Brady Bunch and played Allison on The Electric Company.

She suffered an injury that required a full leg cast for seven months after she was hit by a car in November 1976.

She decided to quit acting in 1978 and became a nurse, but she has appeared in a few TV shows since then.

She married Rick Keller in 1981, but he died in 1983. She married Mark Willard in 1995 and divorced in 1998. Josh was their son.

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