Denise Nickerson

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Nickerson was Born in New York City, Nickerson made appearances in the late 1960s on such shows as The Doctors, and opposite Bill Bixby in an unsold television pilot called Rome Sweet Rome. Nickerson’s big break came in 1968 when she joined the cast of ABC-TV’s Dark Shadows, appearing as recurring characters Amy Jennings and Nora Collins from 1968-1970. Upon leaving Dark Shadows, she appeared in the 1971 television movie The Neon Ceiling.

In 1971, Nickerson was cast as the nymphet Lolita in the 1971 ill-fated musical, Lolita, My Love during its run on Boston, which closed on the road. Also at this time, Nickerson landed her signature role as gum-chewing Violet Beauregarde in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. From 1972, for going The Electric Company, Nickerson, Luis Avalos and The Adventures of Letterman cast replaced Irene Cara. From 1972-73, Nickerson joined the cast of The Electric Company as “Allison”, a member of the Short Circus music group. Producers saw the potential in the fresh-faced Nickerson and often had her singing lead on several songs, including “The Sweet Sweet Sway.” She also guest starred as Pamela (one of two dates Peter Brady had on one night) in one of the final The Brady Bunch episodes, “Two Petes in a Pod”. She also auditioned for the role of Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist but pulled out after her parents objected to the material presented in the script.

Denise created the role of “Liza Walton” on the CBS soap, Search for Tomorrow. She remained with the series until they decided to age the character and make her one of the show’s romantic heroines.
In 1973 Denise starred in the TV movie The Man Who Could Talk to Kids, opposite Peter Boyle and Scott Jacoby. In 1975 she appeared in the satiric, beauty-pageant inspired motion picture Smile, as Miss San Diego’s Shirley Tolstoy (also starring a young Melanie Griffith and Annette O’Toole.)

Nickerson’s career was temporarily put on hold in November 1976 when she was struck by a car while crossing the street. The injury landed her in a full leg cast for eight months. Afterwards, she appeared in the 1978 films Zero to Sixty and TV film Child of Glass.


1978 Zero to Sixty
‘Larry’ Wilde

1978 Child of Glass (TV Movie)
Connie Sue Armsworth

1978 Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color (TV Series)
Connie Sue Armsworth
– Child of Glass (1978) … Connie Sue Armsworth

1976 Bert D’Angelo/Superstar (TV Series)
– What Kind of Cop Are You? (1976)

1976 The Dark Side of Innocence (TV Movie)
Gabriela Hancock

1975 Smile
Shirley – Young American Miss

1974 If I Love You, Am I Trapped Forever? (TV Movie)
Sophie Pennington

1974 The Brady Bunch (TV Series)
Pamela Phillips
– Two Petes in a Pod (1974) … Pamela Phillips

1973 The Man Who Could Talk to Kids (TV Movie)
Dena Pingitore

1972-1973 The Electric Company (TV Series)
Allison – Member of the Short Circus
– 260 (1973) … Allison – Member of the Short Circus
– 259 (1973) … Allison – Member of the Short Circus
– 258 (1973) … Allison – Member of the Short Circus
– 257 (1973) … Allison – Member of the Short Circus
– 256 (1973) … Allison – Member of the Short Circus

1972 Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law (TV Series)
Ardis Carpenter
– Words of Summer (1972) … Ardis Carpenter

1971-1972 Search for Tomorrow (TV Series)
Liza Walton Kaslo Sentell Kendall
– Episode dated 18 January 1972 (1972) … Liza Walton Kaslo Sentell Kendall
– Episode dated 10 December 1971 (1971) … Liza Walton Kaslo Sentell Kendall

1971 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Violet Beauregarde

1971 The Neon Ceiling (TV Movie)
Paula Miller

1968-1970 Dark Shadows (TV Series)
Amy Jennings / Nora Collins / Amy Collins
– Episode #1.1049 (1970) … Amy Collins
– Episode #1.1044 (1970) … Amy Collins
– Episode #1.1003 (1970) … Amy Collins
– Episode #1.1002 (1970) … Amy Collins / Amy Jennings
– Episode #1.1000 (1970) … Amy Collins

1965 Flipper (TV Series)
– Bud Minds Baby (1965) … Tina