Last year marked 44 years since the release of Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, 1971’s film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, which starred Gene Wilder and Jack Albertson. Six of its cast members – who played the five ‘golden ticket’ winners and the factory’s Chief Oompa Loompa – reunited on US television to celebrate.
PARIS THEMMEN – MIKE TEEVEE
Themmen played TV-obsessed kid Mike. He left film at 14 to “be a kid” and has since had a couple of small roles on the screen – including a Qomar fan in a 2000 episode of sci-fi series Star Trek: Voyager. He also owns a photography business which facilitates fan-celebrity photos at conventions.
MICHAEL BOLLNER – AUGUSTUS GLOOP
Fifty-seven-year-old Bollner did a couple of further films in Germany after appearing as chocolate-river casualty Augustus Gloop, but later returned to school. He’s now a tax attorney in his hometown of Munich.
DENISE NICKERSON – VIOLET BEAUREGARDE
Nickerson, who played bubblegum addict Violet, was a cast regular in comedy variety show The Electric Company in the years following Wonka, and also popped up in The Brady Bunch. She left acting in 1978 aged 21 and later worked as a nurse.
RUSTY GOFFE – CHIEF OOMPA LOOMPA
Goffe is the only remaining Wonka cast member still acting. After playing the leader of Wonka’s orange factory workers, the Oompa Loompas, He’s had parts in everything from Harry Potter to Doctor Who, and also appeared as Simba in Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton’s cult TV freakfest, The League Of Gentlemen.
PETER OSTRUM – CHARLIE BUCKET
Ostrum’s only acting credit is as good kid Charlie Bucket – he was just 12 when he played the role. He rejected a three-film contract following the shoot, and pursuing an interest in horses which developed while on the set of the film, he eventually qualified as a vet in 1984. He has appeared on TV since – in vet TV show Veterinarians On Call.
JULIE DAWN COLE – VERUCA SALT
Cole had a successful TV career following her turn as incorrigible brat Veruca Salt. She starred in 1977 series Poldark and 1979’s The Mill On The Floss, and in 1987 she took on the role of Pip Coulter in ITV soap Emmerdale. She returned to the ITV series in a different guise in 2006, as Barbara Hope, and has also recently had roles in Holby City and Casualty. She’s also worked in theatre, qualified as a fitness instructor in 1998, and now works as a psychotherapist.