What Happened To The Kids From Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory?


Likely the most-loved Roald Dahl screen adaptation (despite the minor transgression of changing the name from the book) ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ made overnight stars of its child star cast, reflected in the glory of Gene Wilder’s pitch-perfect eccentric confectioner.

But what happened to them all?

Charlie Bucket aka Peter Ostrum


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.

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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 Lowville, New York with his wife and two children.

Veruca Salt aka Julie Dawn Cole


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’. 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.

Mike Teevee aka Paris Themmen


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. 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


New Yorker 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). 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’ (her parents canned it when they saw the source material). She quit acting in 1978, aged 21, and has only sporadically appeared on TV since.

Augustus Gloop aka Michael Bollner


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

Image credits: Rex Features

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