Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory star Denise Nickerson dead at 62

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory star Denise Nickerson has died aged 62.

The actress, who played Violet Beauregard in the 1971 film, was rushed to hospital earlier this week suffering from pneumonia.

Her family told TMZ.com she died in hospital in Colorado late on Wednesday night.

They also added a post on Facebook  simply stating: “She’s gone”

Yesterday they were concerned she was declining quickly, saying: “It’s now just a matter of time before Denise passes.

“Her son, Josh, and his wife are at the hospital with Denise, and have started a GoFundMe to honor Denise’s last wishes of being cremated, and her ashes turned into glass artwork.”

Nickerson had been suffering poor health for some time after having a stroke in June 2018.

Denise Nickerson has died aged 62

In a post on Gofundme.com, the actress’ son Josh and his wife Jasmine described how Nickerson needed full-time care after her stroke.

They revealed that on Monday, Nickerson took too much of her medicine and was admitted to hospital.

She caught pneumonia and on Tuesday she suffered a seizure which led to a “coma-like” state from which she never recoverd.

The message read: “Monday Jasmine had an appointment to see her doctor for the baby.

“Josh drove up there and then went back home to Denise. In the 7 minutes we were gone, Denise got into her medicines and took as much as she could.

“Josh stopped her and rushed her to the ER. At some point during this event, she aspirated, and caught pneumonia. She was stabilized and kept for observation.

“Yesterday morning, Tuesday, Denise suffered a massive seizure.

“This event, paired with the weakness from the stroke and issues she had from that, and the pneumonia caused her to stop exhaling carbon dioxide from her body.

She played Violet Beauregarde in the film

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“She began to experience blood poisoning and her body shut down. She’s been in a coma-like state. She cannot be saved.”

In a later post on Facebook, they added: “She’s been given morphine to keep her pain free and slow her breathing, so it’s just not so ‘gasp-y.’

“She has random and semi-frequent seizures, but their intensity has grown far less severe as the day has progressed.”

The actress in happier times

They also denied she had been placed on life support or that machines keeping her alive had been switched off.

The family has set up the Gofund me page to help pay for “death expenses” admitting that although Nickerson was famous, she has left “no inheritance. No life insurance. No end of life nest egg.”

She shot to fame as a child star playing Violet Beauregarde, the girl who blows up into a giant blueberry, in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.

Nickerson was just 13 years old when she landed the role opposite Gene Wilder in teh classic adaptation of the Roald Dahl book.

Afterwards, she went on to enjoy a career in TV appearing in shows such as The Brady Bunch and Dark Shadows.

However, her career faltered in the mid-1970s when she was left badly injured in a car accident and broke her leg.

She was unable to work for almost a year, but she eventually managed to return to acting.

Nickerson quit acting in 1978 when she was 21 and spent the rest of her life mostly out of the spotlight.

Since news of her death broke, fans have flocked to Twitter to share their heartache over her loss.

One wrote: “Damn, I just found out that DeniseNickerson had just passed away. My heart goes out to her family during this severely tough time…”

Another tweeted: “RIP Denise Nickerson I will always stand by my belief that YOU were the one who should’ve inherited the chocolate factory.”

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