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SHADOWGRAM OFFICIAL DARK SHADOWS NEWS ONLINE UPDATE #421

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Victoria Liss
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« on: July 15, 2019, 11:00:36 pm »

SHADOWGRAM OFFICIAL DARK SHADOWS NEWS ONLINE UPDATE #421

Monday, July 15, 2019

 

**** DENISE NICKERSON SUCCUMBS TO COMPLICATIONS FROM A 2018 STROKE

 

SHADOWGRAM (SG) sadly reports the death of DENISE NICKERSON (Amy Jennings, Nora Collins, Amy Collins) on July 10. She was 62 years old.

 

Just over a year ago, SG reported that Denise suffered a serious stroke in mid-June, 2018, which seriously impacted her. She was hospitalized under intensive care, dealing with numerous complications and procedures over an extended period, ultimately returning home to convalesce.

 

Denise's son Josh and daughter-in-law Jasmine continually took wonderful care of her over this past year, adapting their lives to accommodate her needs and bring her stability. Their love, concern, and devotion to make sure Denise lived in her own home, was comfortable, cared for, and surrounded by those who deeply care for her is inspirational and a true display of unconditional kindness.

 

Last week, on July 10, Denise had another medical emergency and suffered a seizure en route to the hospital. Later that evening, Jasmine shared online: “They just took off all the equipment. None of it was helping, but making her only more uncomfortable. We're telling her it's okay to let go."

 

Denise passed at approximately 10:17 pm (Colorado time). Jasmine gently reported via Facebook: “She’s gone.”

 

Her passing frees Denise from physical suffering, yet leaves those who love, treasure, and remember her to grieve, reminisce, and keep their love and appreciation for her always in their memories and hearts.

 

Understandably, there have been and will continue to be many related medical and other financial strains on Josh and Jasmine since Denise’s initial stroke in June, 2018. There also will be more financial demands ahead to handle Denise's final wishes. Some friends and family suggested they open a GoFundMe account for anyone who might wish to support them with donations.

 

The following link, established by Jasmine and Josh, includes their personal message for all of Denise's fans and friends. They are grateful for the outpouring of appreciation for Denise and the joy she brought to so many people over the past fifty years.

 

https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-for-the-family-of-denise-nickerson

 

 

**** JOY AMIDST SADNESS

 

This year, during Denise’s illness, the family has also been approaching a very special milestone: Jasmine is expecting a child, a girl, due August 26. Madison (“Maddie”) will be Denise’s first grandchild.

 

SG includes the following information for any who might wish to welcome Madison, honor Denise’s memory, and help Josh and Jasmine prepare for her arrival and early needs. They’ve set up the specific Amazon baby registry site below. SG also thanks you for your consideration.

 

https://www.amazon.com/baby-reg/jasmine-nickerson-joshua-nickerson-august-2019-aurora/15BIB8LH65KZ2

 

*** REMEMBERING DENISE NICKERSON

 

Denise was born April 1, 1957, in New York City. DS fans recognize her as “Amy Jennings” (1968-1970 Collinwood) with Don Briscoe as her brothers “Chris Jennings” and “Tom Jennings” and also as “Nora Collins,” with David Henesy as “Jamison Collins” in 1897 Collinwood. Later, she was "Amy Collins" in the 1970 Parallel Time story.

 

However, she is most widely-known for her role - at age 13 – as the obnoxious, constantly-gum-chomping ”Violet Beauregarde” character in the 1971 classic dark musical movie-with-a-not-so-subtle-message, WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.

 

She also was “Allison” in the group “The Short Circus” on the 1971 children’s educational TV series THE ELECTRIC COMPANY, and appeared in a BRADY BUNCH episode, in addition to guest spots on FLIPPER and OWEN MARSHALL, COUNSELOR AT LAW. Her other daytime soap opera work included SEARCH FOR TOMORROW and THE DOCTORS. She was in the TV movies CHILD OF GLASS, THE MAN WHO COULD TALK TO KIDS, and THE NEON CEILING. She also appeared in the film SMILE.

 

Starting her career on stage as a young child, Denise's theatrical credits include PETER PAN, THE MUSIC MAN, GYPSY, THE MIRACLE WORKER, and THE KING & I. On Broadway, she appeared in OUR TOWN and SHERRY. She also starred in a controversial stage adaptation of LOLITA in Boston, which closed prior to Broadway. Her last major acting job was the 1978 comedy movie ZERO TO 60 with Darren McGavin. After she left acting, she worked as a receptionist in Los Angeles before relocating near Chicago. She spent her final years in Aurora, Colorado, working as an accountant.

 

Denise attended her first DARK SHADOWS reunion at the 1982 ShadowCon in Los Angeles. In the 1990s and 2000s, Denise participated in Dark Shadows (DS) Festivals in Los Angeles, New York City, Las Vegas, Brooklyn, and Tarrytown, NY. At each DS convention event she attended, Denise joined many cast/crew members and fans of all ages from around the country and beyond. Her son Josh – then a young boy – came with her to the Las Vegas reunion at the MGM Grand Hotel in 1998.

 

Over the years, Denise also often reunited with her WILLY WONKA cast members at events to celebrate the movie and its worldwide lasting popularity. They appeared at celebrity autograph shows/conventions and specific WONKA tribute events around the country.

 

NBC-TV’ TODAY SHOW spotlighted the WONKA film and 6 of its cast members – including Denise – for a look-back reunion on Nov. 11, 2015. The TODAY SHOW announcement lead-in: “It was 44 years ago that WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY premiered in theaters, and the fantasy film has delighted generations of moviegoers ever since. Six of the original cast members recently reunited in Orlando, and NBC’s Joe Fryer sat down with them as they reminisced.”

 

Denise emailed me about the TODAY segment late the night before. All 5 of the movie’s “children” attended, along with Rusty Goff, one of the “Oompa-Loompa” workers in the mysterious candy factory. They each shared interesting and delightful memories of the experience filming on lavish fantasy movie sets in Germany. Denise was asked – understandably – about (her) Violet’s constant, emphatic gum-chewing. Asked if she still chews gum, she quickly answered, “No.” The next question was, “When did you give it up?” Her reply: “When I returned (home) and had 13 cavities.”

 

The TODAY SHOW segment runs approximately 5 minutes and can be viewed at:

 

 

 

**** A PERSONAL REMEMBRANCE FROM SHADOWGRAM EDITOR MARCY ROBIN

 

I first met and assisted Denise at one of our early DARK SHADOWS conventions – the 1982 ShadowCon in Los Angeles. This also was JONATHAN FRID’s first DS convention appearance. As a convention committee member in Guest Relations, I escorted, assisted, and chatted with them both and also our other DS guests throughout the gathering. Denise mingled with fans and enjoyed reconnecting with her DS co-stars.

 

She was friendly, diminutive, and rather amazed at the attention shown for her DS roles. This often happens at DS events: Fans also will acknowledge the guests’ individual projects, other professional roles, books they’ve written, and more. Denise was tickled to hear countless fan memories about her “Violet Beauregarde,” who ultimately ends up in the movie as a…. well, no more gum for her, anyway.

 

Being with Denise was enjoyable; we easily got along and often would discuss various topics. I clearly remember our Las Vegas DS FESTIVAL: She brought her son Joshua, who probably was around 6-7 years old. I distinctly recall Josh at one point bent down in front of a banner sign hanging over the front of a sales table, trying to read the words. As a longtime 1st Grade teacher, I responded instinctively, kneeling down next to him to help him blend the letter sounds and realize what words he was reading. He was tickled. Denise watched with a big smile and thanked me for taking such care to help him succeed. I was happy to do so. At the end of the convention, I drove them to the Las Vegas Airport to catch their plane home and we shared a happy good-bye.

                                                               

Denise and I continued to “check in” outside the Festivals via letters and emails as she shared her news for me to include in the SG print newsletters and the SG Official DS News Online Updates.

 

Over my many years as Editor/Publisher of the print postal-mail Shadowgram Dark Shadows Newsletters, I directly mailed complementary copies of every published SG issue to her home – as I also did to many of the DS cast/crew members. I always was happy to include the news Denise shared with me for the fans and DS personnel to enjoy in the newsletters.

 

Now, during this difficult time for her family and friends, I have a melancholy smile at my memory of Josh’s determination to figure out and successfully read the sign’s words in the middle of a busy, noisy, exciting room full of people, plus his relaxed attitude with me, someone he’d never met before. And I also smile as I recall the easy rapport between Denise and myself during the often-buzzing excitement of the DS conventions. I have a mix of good memories and sorrow at her passing. She was quite a personality indeed!

 

To her family and all who love – knew – worked with – admired – enjoyed her talents –and otherwise found her a very special person:

 

Please hold your memories close, as she will always be alive and special in your hearts.

 

---- Marcy Robin

 

 

**************************************************************

This Online Official DARK SHADOWS NEWS ONLINE UPDATE is an Official Internet Publication of SHADOWGRAM – THE OFFICIAL DARK SHADOWS NEWSLETTER

 

Marcy Robin – ShadowGram

 

Shadowgram@aol.com OR Shadowgram1@yahoo.com

 

Each ShadowGram News Update is posted FIRST through the ShadowGram Group List at Yahoo.com and each Update post is then dispersed to other social media.

 

You can join the SHADOWGRAM Group List at:  http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/ShadowGram/

 

You also can request an invitation to join the free Group List. To do so, please email Marcy Robin at ShadowGram@aol.com  OR shadowgram1@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

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