Julie Dawn Cole is an English television, film and stage actress with a nearly-four-decade career, who began as a child performer in what remains her best-remembered movie, 1971's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, playing the spoiled Veruca Salt. She has two children.
A native of the Surrey town of Guildford, Julie Dawn Cole was twelve when she was cast in the iconic role during the project's pre-production phase in the first half of 1970 (she celebrated her 13th birthday eight weeks into the movie's 11-week filming schedule in southeastern Germany's sprawling production complex, Bavaria Film Studios). The film debuted in New York on 30 June 1971 and in London the following week, with Julie chosen to present a bouquet of flowers to Princess Margaret at the Royal Premiere. Her salary for playing Veruca was an extremely modest 600, moving her to speculate years later that her mother probably blew the entire paycheck for family tickets to the Premiere. Decades later, she has been laughingly telling interviewers that at least she still has an unscheduled, self-presented bonus from the filmtwo props, the Everlasting Gobstopper and the Wonka Golden Ticket, which she managed to keep despite being told to return them when filming was over. She and the film's other pre-adolescent leading lady American Denise Nickerson (playing Violet Beauregarde), both had crushes on Willy Wonka's Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum, also an American) and alternated days spending time with him during breaks in filming.
Of the five young leads in the film, Cole alone continues to perform. She has accumulated numerous credits - primarily with television soaps and mini-series. She played trainee nurse Jo Longhurst in the first season of the British drama Angels (TV series), in the mid-seventies. (She was also first runnerp for the title role in the movie Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, which went to her Angels co-star Fiona Fullerton.) Other credits include a 1982 episode of Tales of the Unexpected.
In the second season of Poldark, in 1977, she played 15-year-old seductress Rowella Chynoweth...seducing her sister's portly husband.
In her long career, she has accumulated a number of theatrical credits as well as some pantomime and voice-over work. After qualifying in 1998 as a fitness instructor, she has been working in the 2000s on various projects, including the 2005 ITV series Fat Families, as fitness advisor to one of the title families. In 2006, she was seen on the popular soap Emmerdale.
In August 2010 Cole co-starred in an Edinburgh Fringe show entitled Willy Wonka Revisted: The Veruca Salt Sessions where she plays a semi-fictional version of herself discussing Veruca, life, and obsessive fans with her unseen therapist...while her co-star plays an Australian fan describing his obsession with Veruca to his unseen therapist.
Cole loves being asked about her two children. Whenever Holly (her daughter) said or did anything brattish, Id just go, Is there a problem, Veruca Can I help you That always snapped her out of it. But I didnt call Barnaby (her son) anything because there was no need; he never gave me any such trouble. She has never seen Julia Winter's performance as the modern version of her character.