Fans of the famous movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” are saddened by the news that one of its star actresses has suffered a stroke.
Denise Nickerson, 61, who played Violet Beauregarde in the original 1971 movie, is in critical condition and is being fed through tubes, according to TMZ. Family members said that she will have a procedure Wednesday to help her.
According to Fox News, the medical bills are so steep that her family has taken to crowdfunding to relieve some of the costs. A Facebook post has been set up to help with the effort.
In addition to Nickerson’s fan-favorite role as Violet, she’s appeared in episodes of “The Brady Bunch,” “Sark Shadows,” and “The Electric Company.” She suffered a stroke in June as well.
The Facebook post features updates to the star’s health, as well as offering autographed merchandise in exchange for donations. TMZ reports that a pacemaker was put in to help with the stroke.
So far, the efforts have raised well over the $1500 originally asked for by the family.
Nickerson’s role as Violet left an indelible impression on fans worldwide. She played one of the spoiled children who, as an avid gum chewer, can’t turn away the chance to try one of Willy Wonka’s gum projects, although the chocolatier advised her that testing still needed to be done.
Violet suddenly, through the course of chewing the gum, turned into a bright blue blueberry, and became the subject of a teachable moment for Charlie and others, about the dangers of a lack of self-control.
Please pray for Denise as she undergoes treatment for her stroke, and for her family during this difficult time. Be sure to read about the gut-wrenching details of a famous TV star who recently died.