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Wonka movie’s ‘Violet Beauregarde’ dies

By AAP Newswire

Denise Nickerson, best known for her role as Violet Beauregarde in the classic 1971 version of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, has died after being taken off life support.

She was 62.

Her family made the announcement on Facebook.

Nickerson suffered a severe stroke in June 2018 after which she entered hospital for treatment.

Despite entering a rehab facility later that year, her son Josh Nickerson took to Facebook earlier on Wednesday to announce her debilitating state which led to their decision to cease life support.

"They just took off all the equipment. None of it was helping, but making her only more uncomfortable," he wrote.

"We're telling her it's okay to let go."

Nickerson's son and his wife Jasmine also reported that she had suffered from seizures shortly after being admitted to hospital and later entered a "coma-like" state.

Nickerson was a young teen when she played the gum-chewing and sassy Violet, who turns into a giant blueberry, in the first movie version of the iconic children's book, opposite Gene Wilder as Willie Wonka.

Before that, she appeared on Sesame Street companion series The Electric Company as Alison.

On Dark Shadows, she played Amy Jennings and Nora Collins from 1968-70.

After appearing in soap opera Search For Tomorrow and several small roles in films including Smile before retiring from acting at 21.

She continued to make her living as a nurse.