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What happened to the kids from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?

With a new Wonka in cinemas, we look at what happened next for the lucky golden ticket winners...

Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Credit: Paramount)
Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. (Paramount)

With Paul King's Wonka, audiences will soon learn how a young boy became the famed sweet maker loved by kids across the world, with Timothée Chalamet stepping into the iconic role created by author Roald Dahl. But Chalamet isn't the only star to bring this character to life.

Likely the most-loved Dahl screen adaptation (despite the minor transgression of changing the name from the book) is 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a film that made overnight stars of its child star cast, each of whom was reflected in the glory of Gene Wilder’s pitch-perfect eccentric confectioner.

But what happened to them all?


Charlie Bucket aka Peter Ostrum

Gene Wilder and Peter Ostrum in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Gene Wilder and Peter Ostrum in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. (Getty)

Peter Ostrum scored the dream role for a child star, playing protagonist Charlie Bucket. But in a peculiar twist, he’s now more famous for not being famous. It was his one and only film role.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 20:  Peter Ostrum Poses at The Hollywood Show - Day 2 at Westin Los Angeles Airport on July 20, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Peter Ostrum who played Charlie Bucket, pictured in 2017. (Steve Granitz/WireImage)

He later went on to study for his doctorate of veterinary medicine from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 1984, and has been a practising vet ever since, living in Glenfield, New York with his wife and two children.


Veruca Salt aka Julie Dawn Cole

Julie Dawn Cole in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Julie Dawn Cole in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. (Paramount)

The quintessential movie spoilt brat, Julie Dawn Cole went on to rack up various TV roles, appearing in shows like Angels, Van Der Valk and Tales of the Unexpected. She also launched a children’s drama school, did voice-over work, appeared in panto, and in 2006, turned up in Emmerdale.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 06:  Actress Julie Dawn Cole attends the 50th anniversary screening of
Julie Dawn Cole (in 2017) was Veruca Salt. (Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Cole has also worked as a fitness instructor and is currently a psychotherapist. In 2010, she performed Willy Wonka Revisited: The Veruca Salt Sessions, a show at the Edinburgh Fringe. In 2016, she released a book about her time making Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory entitled I Want It Now.


Mike Teevee aka Paris Themmen

Paris Themmen (left) in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Paris Themmen (left) in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. (Paramount)

Following Willy Wonka, Paris Themmen appeared in several plays on Broadway but took a hiatus from acting at 14. He later founded a travel company, and worked variously in real estate, casting, and film production.

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 12:  Paris Themmen attends the 2012 New York Comic Con at the Javits Center on October 12, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
Paris Themmen (in 2012) played Mike Teevee. (Bobby Bank/WireImage)

He now runs a photography company, but still appears in the odd advert and TV show, including, in 2000, Star Trek: Voyager.


Violet Beauregarde aka Denise Nickerson

Denise Nickerson in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Denise Nickerson in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. (Paramount)

New Yorker Denise Nickerson had a pretty distinguished career before Willy Wonka, appearing in US TV shows like The Doctors with Bill Bixby, and cult soap Dark Shadows (which would later be adapted by Tim Burton, who himself remade Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp decades later).

Willy Wonka star Denise Nickerson (Getty)
Willy Wonka star Denise Nickerson (Getty)

After Wonka, she appeared in The Brady Bunch and in The Electric Company, the PBS educational show made by the Sesame Street crew. She also auditioned for the role of Regan in The Exorcist, but her parents canned it when they saw the source material.

She quit acting in 1978, aged 21, and died in 2019, aged 62.


Augustus Gloop aka Michael Bollner

Michael Bollner in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Michael Bollner in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. (Paramount)

Like Peter Ostrum, gluttonous German Golden Ticket-winner Augustus Gloop was Michael Bollner’s only film role. He wanted to continue acting, but his father insisted he finish his education.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 19:  Cast of Willy Wonka (LtoR) Diana Sowle, Julie Dawn Cole, Peter Ostrum, Michael Bollner, Denise Nickerson and Paris Themmen  at the The Hollywood Show held at Westin Los Angeles Airport on July 19, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
Cast of Willy Wonka (L-R) Diana Sowle, Julie Dawn Cole, Peter Ostrum, Michael Bollner, Denise Nickerson and Paris Themmen in 2014. (Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

He grew to be a massive 6 ft 7 in tall, and now runs a successful accountancy business in Munich.


Wonka will be released in UK cinemas on 8 December