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July 11, 2019

Julie Dawn Cole Opens up about Losing 'Willy Wonka' Actress Denise Nickerson

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Julie Dawn Cole gave a heartbreaking statement after hearing the news of her “Willy Wonka” co-star, Denise Nickerson's demise.

“Willy Wonka” actress, Julie Dawn Cole, opened up about her co-star and close friend’s demise, who was rushed to the hospital, a year after suffering a stroke. In a statement given to Fox News on Wednesday, she described the news as “dreadfully sad.”

“She had a massive stroke last July and never really recovered. Paris [Themmen] (Mike Teevee) and I went to visit her in September. It was a very sad visit as she couldn’t verbally communicate. But we sang songs — ‘Willy Wonka’ of course! And that made her smile and laugh,” she said.

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She revealed that her close friend had many seizures after their visit to the hospital, lowering her chance of survival. Cole treated Nickerson like a sister as they kept a strong relationship after filming the movie. 

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“Desperately sad as she was about to be a grandmother as am I. I am sure we would have had a lot to share with each other around that. My thoughts are with her son and daughter-in-law,” she added.

Nickerson passed away on Wednesday as confirmed by her family on Facebook and later with TMZ. The child actress was diagnosed with pneumonia and suffered a seizure after being brought to the hospital days ago.

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She survived on machines, IV drips with antibiotics, and anti seizure medications, but was stopped as per the decision of her family. They told TMZ on Wednesday morning: “It’s now just a matter of time before Denise passes.”

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After suffering a stroke last year, her family started sharing updates of the child star’s health on Facebook, through a page titled “Support for Jasmine and Josh Nickerson,” which also asked for financial support from those who wanted to help.

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Nickerson’s family has since created a GoFundMe page to help with the medical expenses incurred by the actress. Her son, Josh, explained why the page had been set up:

“I’m sorry we are asking for help, but we can’t do it on our own. We need help. Anything you can spare is a big help.”

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