'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory': Where Are the Children Now?

Some of the child actors from the classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory reunited on its 50th anniversary for a roundtable discussion on NPR, which aired on Monday.

Peter Ostrum, Julie Dawn Cole and Paris Themmen discussed the 1971 movie starring Gene Wilder as the eponymous factory owner, whose eccentric candy designs amaze children everywhere.

As based on Roald Dahl's book, a group of children won golden tickets to allow them an exclusive tour of this wonderful world, and all the surprises that come with it.

Newsweek break down what happened to the cast members, and where they are now.

Peter Ostrum

Peter Ostrum played Charlie Bucket
Peter Ostrum, and as Charlie Bucket in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Paramount Pictures/Getty Images

Peter Ostrum played Charlie Bucket, who is the main character of the children in the factory.

Charlie wins a golden ticket and is desperate to go to the factory along with his Grandpa Joe (played by Jack Albertson) due to his love of sweets.

As the film progresses, the other children show how spoiled they are, and even Charlie breaks the rules by sampling the Fizzy Lifting Drink.

Despite this, in the end, Charlie is the one who is given the keys to inheriting the factory after Willy Wonka retires.

Since the film, Peter has turned away from acting and became a veterinarian, which has been his main profession since the film.

Julie Dawn Cole

Julie Dawn Cole as Veruca Salt
Julie Dawn Cole and as Veruca Salt in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Paramount Pictures/Getty Images

English actress Julie Dawn Cole played Veruca Salt, the spoiled brat who didn't care how but wanted it now.

Veruca demanded sweets and anything she could get her hands on throughout the film, eventually seeing her demise at the golden egg area of the factory.

After singing her famous song, I Want It Now, she plummeted into the factory's pipe network and lost her opportunity to seek Wonka's fortune.

After her role in the film, which she played as a 12-year-old, she appeared in other TV shows such as And Mother Makes Three, BBC drama Angels, and the original 1977 version of Poldark.

She also had small roles in stalwart U.K. TV dramas like Holby City and Casualty, as well as soap operas EastEnders and Emmerdale.

Outside of her acting work, Cole trained as a psychotherapist, and, according to her website works for a cancer charity.

Denise Nickerson

Denise Nickerson as Violet Beauregarde
Denise Nickerson and as Violet Beauregarde in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Getty Images/Paramount Pictures

Denise Nickerson appeared as Violet Beauregarde as a 13-year-old.

Her character similarly wanted to try everything in the factory, especially her favorite item in the world: chewing gum.

In the end, she was even willing to eat a prototype gum still in the works, which turned her into a blueberry after she tasted her favorite blueberry pie.

Outside of this role, Nickerson appeared in various TV and film roles, like in the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows and children's show The Electric Company.

When she reached 21, in 1978, she quit acting and according to Deadline, became a regular attendee of cast reunions and conventions for her Willy Wonka and Dark Shadows roles.

On July 10, 2019, Nickerson died from pneumonia, aged 62, after suffering a stroke the year before.

Paris Themmen

Paris Themmen as Mike Teavee
Paris Themmen and as Mike Teavee in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Getty Images/Paramount Pictures

Paris Themmen played Mike Teavee, a TV-obsessed child who almost made it to the end of the movie if it wasn't for his favorite thing getting in the way.

After being irritating throughout the film, Mike eventually comes to a room where he can put himself on the TV but finds himself trapped and unable to come back to the real world.

Themmen stopped acting aged 14, as he explains on his website, because he wanted to "just be a kid."

He went to New York University, after which he set up a travel company and journeyed all over the world.

Themmen has worked in various industries since his childhood, from real estate to film production, but in recent years has directed commercial casting sessions, as well as appearing at conventions and other events as a result of the Willy Wonka phenomenon.

Michael Bollner

Mike Bollner as Augustus Gloop
Michael Bollner and as Augustus Gloop in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Paramount Pictures/Getty Images

The least successful of the children in Willy Wonka was Augustus Gloop, played by Michael Bollner.

The German child was immediately taken by the chocolate river and began drinking from it pretty much the moment he set eyes on it.

His mother tried to stop him, but his greediness saw him fall straight into the river, which meant his trip was over.

The actor retired from film and TV straight after his role, and according to Heart FM has worked as an accountant.

He has appeared at reunions with his fellow cast members.

"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" cast
Cast of "Willy Wonka" at The Hollywood Show in Westin Los Angeles Airport on July 20, 2014. Some of the cast members have been reminiscing about their time for the 50th anniversary of the movie. Steve Granitz/Getty Images