Denise Nickerson, the actress who played the quippy, gum-chewing Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory has passed away. According to Variety, Nickerson passed away Wednesday night after being taken off life-support that had kept her stable after suffering a stroke last year. She was 62.
Her son, Josh Nickerson posted to Facebook earlier in the day on Wednesday, updating everyone on his mother’s condition. “They just took off all the equipment. None of it was helping, but making her only more uncomfortable,” Nickerson said. “We’re telling her it’s okay to let go.” He followed that post up later that night simply, saying “She’s gone.”
Nickerson was best known for her role in Willy Wonka. Before that, she appeared on The Electric Company, a companion series to Sesame Street, as Alison. She went on to star in Dark Shadows and Search for Tommorrow. Nickerson also appeared in a few small film roles but retired from acting at age 21.
She then went on to make a living as a nurse until her stroke last year.