When thinking of the Maldives, it might be easy to conjure up images of white sandy beaches and tropical huts, but what about what lies beneath it all? The ocean can offer up a whole new world, and it might not be long before you find yourself itching to go scuba diving in the Maldives to find out why.
The Manta Rays
Believe it or not, but the Maldives are home to the world’s largest population of manta rays as it’s thought there could be up to 7,000 species in the water. They come to the waters almost every day meaning there is always plenty to see for anyone wanting to take a dip. Plus, they can be seen all across the islands with some favorite cleaning stations welcoming hundreds each day.
Plenty Of Sharks
There are many species of underwater creatures surrounding these islands, including a host of sharks. From whale sharks to hammerheads, thresher to nurse sharks, and whitetip to tiger sharks – it seems as though there is no end to the number of sharks in these waters. You might have to brave night diving if you want to get close to these creatures, but the sights can be out of this world.
Variety Of Fish
Of course, it’s not just the big bad boys of the waters that draw many people to scuba diving in the Maldives. There are also many species of fish to be seen, too. Ghost pipefish, lionfish, triggerfish, and clownfish all love to hang out in the corals, but that’s not all. There are also many sea turtles that have been spotted over the years as they enjoy the gentle waters.
It Might Soon Be Gone
If you’re tempted to go scuba diving in the Maldives, then it might be time to book your tickets sooner rather than later. The islands have been a popular vacation destination for many years. Currently, the islands are averagely four-foot above sea level, but unfortunately, the rising sea levels mean they could disappear under the surface of the water in as little as 80 years.
The Maldives has been a top destination for many over the years, and it looks as though scuba diving around the islands could be all it takes to see a whole new aspect of the destination.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is an iconic tale that started as a book written by Roald Dahl. However, the most beloved iteration of it is probably the 1971 film that starred Gene Wilder as the titular character. Of course, Gene wasn’t the only actor to really make a mark in the memory of audiences in the film.
Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka
We’d be remiss not to start with Gene Wilder, who played the eccentric but charming Willy Wonka, a mad genius looking for a suitable successor to his candy factory.
Gene Wilder Now
Unfortunately for the whole wide world, Gene Wilder passed away in August of 2016 at the golden age of 83. He starred in many films besides the one we’re discussing here, such as Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, but there’s no doubt that his role as Willy Wonka was his most famous.
Needless to say, Gene Wilder’s passing was a huge loss for cinema and the world at large, and though he’s been gone years already, he’s still sorely missed.
Peter Ostrum as Charlie Bucket
Sometimes it’s hard to remember the movie was actually about Charlie Bucket, portrayed by Peter Ostrum. Willy Wonka just stole the show so often. Even so, the story was indeed about this poor boy who — taking his chances with money that he didn’t have much of to spare — got a golden ticket to Wonka’s chocolate factory.
Unfortunately for anyone who really liked his performance, Peter Ostrum didn’t take to a career in acting following Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. But, to each their own.
Peter Ostrum Now
Now 62, Peter Ostrum’s life is about as far removed from movies as you can get. Choosing to forego a three-movie contract after his one role, he went on to become a veterinarian who specializes in cattle and horses. He resides with his family in Glenfield, New York.
It’s probably not the life anyone was expecting of him following his performance as Charlie Bucket, but according to Ostrum, he’s perfectly content with having skipped out on Hollywood.
Michael Bollner as Augustus Gloop
Ah yes — Augustus Gloop, a thinly veiled metaphor for the dangers of gluttony. We probably don’t need to tell you that, of course. It was pretty obvious that each of the kids besides Charlie Bucket represented a less than desirable characteristic.
That said, we don’t want to say that Michael Bollner was perfect for the role, because that sounds like a backhanded compliment. We really mean it, though. He played Augustus exceptionally well, being a very believable boy with no inhibition.
Michael Bollner Now
Unlike his fellow child actor Peter Ostrum, Bollner actually did want to pursue an acting career after the success of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. However, his father stopped him from doing it, insisting that he finish his education instead.
These days, Bollner owns his own accounting firm and works as a tax accountant in Munich, Germany. A less glamorous fate to be sure, but we’ve no doubt that he pays his bills just fine.
Denise Nickerson as Violet Beauregarde
We’re not sure anyone could forget this iconic scene in which Violet became the target of a Wonka product that was quite clearly still in its test phase. In hindsight, it must be a little disheartening to play a role limited to being rude and getting off-screened as a human blueberry…
But, well, not everyone can be the hero. Like most of her other child actors, Denise’s job was to be annoying, which she managed to do very well. It takes a good actor to play a bad character.
Denise Nickerson Now
Unfortunately, the world lost Nickerson last year on July 10th, 2019. Unlike many of her fellow actors, she actually did continue to star in film roles throughout her life, though she mostly ended up acting on television. Even so, she starred in seven films in all, some of which were documentaries.
It’s unfortunate that she only lived to be 62. Who knows what else she may have performed in if only she had been with us a little longer.
Julie Dawn Cole as Veruca Salt
Played exceptionally well by Julie Dawn Cole, Veruca Salt is the very image of self-entitlement. It’s always a little weird to say that about actors — “congratulations, you’re very good at being bratty.” Of course, that’s a compliment if that was the point of the character in the first place, right?
We all know Veruca was a bad nut, but thankfully, that was just her character. Julie herself went on to do many great things after portraying this role in the film.
Julie Dawn Cole Now
One of the few actors and actresses from the movie to do so, Julie Dawn Cole continued acting after Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which was not actually her first appearance in a film. That said, it definitely helped her popularity and reputation, bringing a fair amount of acting work her way.
As of today, though, she has 48 acting credits among television series and movies — so suffice to say — life has been pretty much the same for Cole all these years as it was back then.
Paris Themmen as Mike Teevee
As the kid actor who got one of the most interesting scenes in the movie, Paris Themmen portrayed Mike Teavee, the last member of our group of chocolate factory tourists. Like many of his co-stars, this movie was his first foray into the world of film.
But unlike some of his co-stars, the path Themmen took from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was related to the big screen in a different way.
Paris Themmen Now
The movie in question is the only film Themmen was ever in, but he had several roles in TV afterward, all the way up to 2018 when he appeared on Jeopardy! He did, however, work in production for several films. Still, that’s not what he really does these days anymore.
Now, Themmen is a real estate broker and casting director, which is certainly an interesting combination of jobs, to say the least
Jack Albertson as Grandpa Joe
Grandpa Joe was the ever-supportive individual of Charlie Bucket’s dreams. Played to perfection by Jack Albertson, he was a character that, even in older age, never lost the spark of excitement and enthusiasm, much like the actor himself.
As a man with experience in films, radio, TV, and the grand stage, it’s no wonder that he was seen as a perfect candidate for Grandpa Joe in the movie — arguably one of his better-known roles.
Jack Alberston Now
We can’t really say “Jack Alberston Today,” as the man was long departed before now, going to a better place in 1981, only ten years after his role as Grandpa Joe.
But, even with his health in a rather poor state, the man was so dedicated that he was still acting in the very year he left us. Truly, it was a blow to cinema fans everywhere come November 25th.
Roy Kinnear as Mr. Salt
We’ll admit — the parents didn’t have much to do as characters in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but frankly, they’re the next most important roles after Wonka himself, Grandpa Joe, and all the kids. Roy Kinnear played the father of Veruca Salt, caving in to her every desire.
It wasn’t his first role and it wouldn’t be his last, but it was probably one of his less interesting characters overall, though that’s no fault of his.
Roy Kinnear Now
Unfortunately, now that we’re getting to actors that were already adults in 1971, you’ll be reading a lot of “they’re not with us anymore.” The same is true of Roy Kinnear, who passed in 1988 at the age of 54.
Even until the end, though, Kinnear played tons of roles in dozens of different films and movies. Like many of his co-stars, his loss was felt by everyone that enjoyed the silver screen.
Nora Denney as Ms. Teevee
Being an actress for years before 1971, her role as Ms. Teevee was not Nora Denney’s first rodeo. Of course, it also wasn’t her biggest rodeo, but she managed to play the mom of a problem child without a single hiccup. Minor role though it may be, the movie wouldn’t be the same without her.
We can’t help but wonder how directors cast secondary roles. Does the importance of the role have an effect on the criteria? Either way, good choice on their part.
Nora Denney Now
Nora Denney continued her acting career for decades after Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring in many more roles in both film and TV, up until 1999 when she made her last appearance as an actor. Her role in the 1971 movie we’re discussing may be one of her most well-known.
Unfortunately, like many of the older actors at the time the movie was filmed, she’s no longer with us, having passed in 2005 at the age of 78.
Ursula Reit as Mrs. Gloop
One of the coolest things about Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is the fact that it had actors and actresses from many countries. Ursula Reit — for example — was actually a German actress, and not someone faking a German accent.
As far as American audiences are concerned, her role in this movie is the one they’re most likely to know, as Reit performed mostly on German television.
Ursula Reit Now
As we said before, Ursula Reit did most of her work on German television, so there’s not much to say other than the fact that she went back to it after Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. She kept that up all the way into the ’90s.
Unfortunately, she too is no longer with us, as you may have expected. She passed in 1998 due to natural causes, mostly remaining a big name in Germany, but not the United States.
Leonard Stone as Mr. Beauregarde
Leonard Stone has the very interesting distinction of appearing in a ton of movies, but almost exclusively in supporting roles. In fact, his role as Mr. Beauregarde is actually one of his most notable, which is saying something since the parent was a secondary character at best.
Not to knock on him, of course, as every movie needs side characters and he did a fantastic job. It’s just odd that he almost specialized in side characters specifically.
Leonard Stone Now
Leonard Stone continued with his acting career after the 1971 movie, up until 1983. After that, he lived a mostly mundane private life until he passed away in 2011, a day before his 88th birthday.
Keeping with his theme for dubious distinctions, he was the last actor that portrayed a parent touring the factory to pass away, though Diana Sowle — Mrs. Bucket — lived longer. But, a distinction is a distinction, and we’re glad he lived so long regardless.
Diana Sowle as Mrs. Bucket
For Diana Sowle, the role of Mrs. Bucket was her most popular. That was mostly because she did a lot more acting on the stage than she did on the screen. Even so, her performance as Mrs. Bucket was a memorable one It’s too bad she didn’t get more screen time for the film as a whole.
Fun fact — though her performance of the song, “Cheer Up, Charlie” was great, her voice was actually dubbed by another actress for that sequence.
Diana Sowle Now
Diana Sowle didn’t do much more on the big screen after 1971, making only two cameos in two films in 1994. She did, however, provide some voice work for video games in 2008. What she did do was continue to perform in the long-running play, Shear Madness, up until 2013.
Diana Sowle is no longer with us, having passed in 2018. She was, however, the last adult cast member for the movie to pass away, outliving all of her co-stars save those who were kids at the time.