‘Willy Wonka’ reunion: Willy Wonka Cast Reunites

Published: November 12, 2015

‘Willy Wonka’ reunion: Willy Wonka Cast Reunites, It’s been 44 years since the cast of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory took fans to a “world of pure imagination,” but the actors who were a part of the 1971 classic will never forget it.

The cast of 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Credit: Courtesy Everett Collection

On Wednesday, Nov. 11, Peter Ostrum (Charlie Bucket), Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt), Denise Nickerson (Violet Beauregarde), Paris Themmen (Mike Teevee), Michael Bollner (Augustus Gloop), and Rusty Goffe (head Oompa Loompa) reunited for a special Today show interview.

Rusty Goffe played the chief Oompa Loompa in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

“The first thing people do when they find out who we are is they smile,” Nickerson said, after all six of them confirmed they’d reprise their famous roles if given the chance.

Paris Themmen played Mike Teevee in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

“We call it the Wonka Effect,” Cole added.

Michael Bollner played Augustus Gloop in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Though Goffe went on to appear in several major projects like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and the BBC series Doctor Who, the former child stars opted for life out of the limelight.

Julie Dawn Cole played Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Ostrum, who played the protagonist Charlie Bucket, an impoverished boy whose life changed forever with the Golden Ticket, became a veterinarian. And the group wasn’t afraid to uncover some secrets from the set. For example: The Chocolate River.

Denise Nickerson played Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

“I’m sorry, it was water,” Bollner admitted.

“It was disgusting,” Goffe added.

And all of the actors praised star Gene Wilder, now 82, on the set of the film, an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Peter Ostrum played Charle in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

“Five kids clambering all over you, wanting his attention,” Cole said. “There was never any ‘Please don’t follow Mr. Wonka,’ and we must have been pretty tiresome.”

“They were,” Goffe teased.

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