Willy Wonka star Denise Nickerson has been removed from life support after a year-long health battle.

Nickerson won over generations of fans with her starring role as gum-chewing Violet Beauregarde in the original 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

The 62-year-old actress suffered a stroke last year and has since been in the care of her son Josh, and his wife, Jasmine.

Nickerson as Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Photo / Supplied.
Nickerson as Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Photo / Supplied.

Nickerson's family told TMZ she had been rushed to hospital and placed on life support on Tuesday after being diagnosed with pneumonia before suffering a massive seizure.

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Her condition continued to worsen before the decision was made to take her off the respirator and stop giving her medication. The family believe it's now just a matter of time before she passes.

Jasmine yesterday posted on Facebook a link to a GoFundMe page to help them fulfil Nickerson 's wish to be cremated and have her ashes turned into glass artwork.

 Nickerson's family have set up a GoFundMe page to help with fulfilling her last wishes. Photo / Facebook.
Nickerson's family have set up a GoFundMe page to help with fulfilling her last wishes. Photo / Facebook.

"We don't know how much time she has. It could be minutes. It could be hours. But no matter what, she's already gone," the page explains.

"We are sitting here with her just trying to keep her comfortable and let her know it's okay."

In Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Nickerson played one of five children to win a Golden Ticket to take a tour of Wonka's mysterious factory.

Nickerson at the 40th Anniversary of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. Photo / Getty Images.
Nickerson at the 40th Anniversary of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. Photo / Getty Images.

A huge fan of chewing gum, Violet steals a piece that Wonka — played by Gene Wilder — is developing. Despite his warnings she eats the gum, which causes her to blow up like a huge blueberry.

Nickerson's career also saw her feature in episodes of The Brady Bunch, Dark Shadows and The Electric Company.

Her health struggles come after Wilder passed away in 2016 after battling Alzheimer's disease.