She famously played Violet Beauregarde, the Golden Ticket recipient who chewed on forbidden gum and turned into a blueberry in the 1971 film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.”
Nickerson, who was born in New York City, worked on the vampire soap opera “Dark Shadows” from 1968 to 1970, and she also appeared in “The Electric Company,” “Search for Tomorrow” and the film “Zero to Sixty.” She left acting in 1978 to become a nurse.
Nickerson had a severe stroke in 2018. She is survived by a son.
Tributes, including one from “Willy Wonka” castmate Julie Dawn Cole, who played Veruca Salt, poured in:
So very sorry to say that my dear friend and Wonka sister, Denise Nickerson, has gone💔
— Julie Dawn Cole (@realverucasalt) July 11, 2019
Thanks for making making quite the impact on a lot of us Denise Nickerson. You brought Violet to life in Willy Wonka, you will be missed. pic.twitter.com/ODksebqx6b
— Oz (@ozkangaroo) July 11, 2019
RIP Denise Nickerson. Not the biggest name in showbiz, but in our house (where ‘Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory’ is probably watched 2 or 3 times a month) she’s a star.
“I’m right back on gum. I chew it all day, except at mealtimes when I stick it behind my ear” pic.twitter.com/8KHMtkSq63
— Dave Sinclair (@DaveSinners) July 11, 2019
I am deeply saddened to hear of Denise Nickerson’s passing. My heart goes out to her family and friends. As a major fan of #VioletBeauregarde, I will be forever honored to have paid this tribute to her and to hear from her cast mates that she absolutely loved it. #willywonka pic.twitter.com/nukd99PMD2
— Lucia Briones (@Lucybri83) July 11, 2019