Denise Nickerson

Denise Nickerson

Highest Rated: 100% Smile (1975)

Lowest Rated: 91% Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Birthday: Apr 01, 1957

Birthplace: New York, New York, USA

Best known as the gum-snapping Violet Beauregard in the classic film "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (1971), Denise Nickerson was born in New York City in 1957. Raised largely in the South during her early childhood, Nickerson made her first professional on-screen appearance at age two, starring in a commercial for a Florida heating company. By seven, Nickerson was playing Wendy's daughter in a touring production of "Peter Pan," and by ten, she was appearing on Broadway in the ensemble of "Sherry!" often completing her schoolwork backstage during performances. After "Sherry!" closed, Nickerson joined the cast of the popular paranormal soap opera "Dark Shadows" (ABC, 1966-1971) playing the recurring characters Amy Jennings, Nora Collins, and Amy Collins. The series made Nickerson a daytime star at age 11. She was so famous that she was frequently followed by tabloid photographers, but she nonetheless continued to perform on Broadway as well, playing Rebecca Gibbs in an acclaimed production of "Our Town." Then in 1971, Nickerson was given the opportunity to audition for an upcoming adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The prospect of appearing in such a beloved story was as exciting to Nickerson as filming in a foreign country-as the movie was slated to be shot in Germany-and she was elated to win the part of the bad-mannered Violet. When "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (1971) was released, Nickerson became an even more well known face. She went on to star in a short-lived Broadway production of "Lolita, My Love," and later joined the cast of the hugely popular kids TV series "The Electric Company" (PBS, 1971-77) from 1972 to 1973. At age 16, Nickerson opted to switch coasts, moving to Los Angeles to try her hand at a different selection of roles. However, Nickerson would discover that unlike New York, California had laws in place limiting the number of hours per day that a minor could work. This made her a less convenient hire for many film and TV productions than many legally adult actors who were just two years her senior, and so she only appeared in a few additional projects such as the acclaimed movie "Smile" (1975) and the TV movie "The Dark Side of Innocence" (NBC, 1976) before acting in her final on-screen role in the movie "Zero to Sixty" (1978). Nickerson was interested in attending law school, but her plans were put on hold when she discovered that her parents had spent all of the money she had made during her stage and screen career. She began working as a receptionist at a doctor's office, and eventually became a very successful accountant. Tragically, Nickerson passed away in 2018. She was 62 years old.

Highest rated movies

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory




No Score Yet 17% Zero to Sixty Unknown (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Dark Side of Innocence Gabriela Hancock (Character) - 1976
100% 68% Smile Shirley (Character) - 1975
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Man Who Could Talk to Kids Dena Pingitore (Character) - 1973
91% 87% Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Violet Beauregarde (Character) - 1971
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Neon Ceiling Paula Miller (Character) - 1970


78% No Score Yet The Brady Bunch Unknown (Guest Star) 1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet Flipper Unknown (Guest Star) 1965


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