Denise Nickerson, who played the gum-chewing brat-turned-human-blueberry Violet Beauregarde in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” is in critical condition after suffering a stroke in late June, according to her family.
The former child actress, 61, is in the Intensive Care Unit due to her medical woes, her family shared on a Facebook page titled “Support for Jasmine and Josh Nickerson.” Josh is Nickerson’s son from her second marriage to Mark Willard.
The page has offered fans multiple updates over the last month, and a post Tuesday said Nickerson had successfully had a pacemaker put in, and was expected to receive a stomach feeding tube Wednesday.
See photos of Denise Nickerson through the years:
The family has also called for donations to help aid in medical expenses.
Nickerson rose to fame in the 1971 adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic as the bad-mannered Violet, who morphs into a human blueberry after chewing a special gum containing a three-course meal.
She retired from acting in the late ‘70s after appearing in a pair of soap operas, including “Dark Shadows” and “Search for Tomorrow,” as well as a 1974 episode “The Brady Bunch.”