Denise Nickerson

Denise Nickerson, a former child actress, will always be remembered by the audience and the general public as the teenage gum-chewing brat named Violet Beauregarde who graced our screen in the 1971 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Also, she was famous for her role of Allison on The Electric Company in 1972-1973, as well as Amy Jennings, Amy Collins, and Nora Collins in the soap opera Dark Shadows (1968-1970).

In this article, we have summed up all the required information about Denise Nickerson; keep scrolling down to find out more about her!

Denise Nickerson
Denise Nickerson

But before here are some interesting facts about Denise Nickerson.

Denise Nickerson: Quick Facts

Born: April 1, 1957

New York City, New York, U.S.
Died: 10 July 2019 (aged 62)
Occupation: Actress
Years active: 1965–1978
Known for:
  • Violet Beauregarde (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory)
  • Amy Jennings & Nora Collins (Dark Shadows)
  • Allison (The Electric Company)
Rich Keller
(m. 1981; his death 1983)
Mark Willard
(m. 1995; div. 1998)
Children: 1

Denise Nickerson Early Life, Education

Denise Nickerson was born on April 1, 1957, in New York, the U.S. As per her birthdate, she was 62 years old. Her zodiac sign is Aries. Her nationality is American, and her ethnicity is white.

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However, she has not disclosed any information regarding her parents or educational background.

Denise Nickerson Career

Born in New York City in the early 1960s, Nickerson appeared in an unsold TV pilot called Rome Sweet Rome on shows like The Doctors and opposite Bill Bixby.

Nickerson’s colossal break came in 1968 when she joined ABC-TV’s Dark Shadows cast, appearing as Nora Collins and Amy Jennings from 1968–1970 as recurring characters. She appeared in the 1971 television movie The Neon Ceiling when she left Dark Shadows.

Also, in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, when she was 13 years old, Nickerson got her signature position as gum-chewing Violet Beauregarde.

Denise Nickerson
Denise Nickerson

Denise entered The Electric Company‘s cast as “Allison,” a member of the music group Short Circus, from 1972–1973. In the fresh-faced Nickerson, producers saw the opportunity and had her singing lead on several songs, including “The Sweet Sweet Sway.”

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In one of the final episodes of The Brady Bunch, “Two Petes in a Pod,” she also guest-starred as Pamela, one of two dates Peter Brady had on one night. She also heard about Regan MacNeil‘s role in The Exorcist, which eventually went to Linda Blair.

On the CBS soap, Search for Tomorrow, Denise created the role of Liza Walton. In 1973, Nickerson starred against Scott Jacoby and Peter Boyle in the TV movie The Man Who Could Talk to Kids.

She appeared in 1975 as Miss San Diego‘s Shirley Tolstoy (also starring a young Melanie Griffith and Annette O’Toole) in the satirical, beauty-pageant influenced movie picture Smile.

Furthermore, Denise appeared in the movie Zero to Sixty, which was released in 1978, and in a television family-fantasy film Child of Glass.

Denise turned 21 years old in 1978, choosing at that moment to leave acting. She has since appeared occasionally on television, like an episode of To Tell the Truth‘s John O’Hurleyversion from 2000–2002, as contestant number two. Then, Nickerson chose to be a nurse.

Personal Life Of Denise Nickerson

In the year 1976, Denise was hit by a car while crossing the street and injured her full leg for eight months.

Denise has married twice in her life. Nickerson was first married to Rick Keller in 1981. However, after two years, in 1983, he died because of a brain aneurysm.

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Nevertheless, after 12 years, in 1995, she was then married to Mark Willard, and together, they had a son named Josh. Later, in the year 1998, after years of marriage, the duo ended their marriage.

Denise Nickerson and Her Stroke

In late June 2018, Denise, at the age of  61, suffered a massive stroke. She was crucial and in the department of intensive care. Nickerson’s son said that his mother couldn’t walk and talk.

Nickerson was inserted with a small device placed under the skin in her chest to help control her heartbeat and was fed through a feeding tube into her stomach.

However, her son Josh and daughter-in-law Jasmine had created a Facebook page with a plea for the family to raise funds. She also had an emergency procedure to minimize the stroke’s effect on her brain and body.

It was revealed that she became furious after the pacemaker was placed into her body. Jasmine wrote on July 8 on Facebook,

“They had to move her to a room where they can monitor her more closely. She pulled out her feeding tube and has been trying to fully climb out of bed. Her lung collapsed. They just discovered in the last few hours so they are putting a tube in to reinflate it. A rough day so far. Mom and Josh have been up with her today. I’m home-sick with a small cold and trying not to worry.”

But the whole family was concerned about Denise being so critical that she could never leave the hospital.

Denise Nickerson Death

According to TMZ, Denise Nickerson passed away at the age of 62 on Wednesday evening around 10:30 PM Colorado time in her hospital room.

Denise Nickerson
Denise Nickerson

Also, on the same day, several guests went to share memories in her room to say their final goodbyes.

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