Diana Sowle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Diana Sowle
Diana Mae Laumer

(1930-06-19)June 19, 1930
DiedOctober 19, 2018(2018-10-19) (aged 88)
Maryland, U.S.
OccupationActress, voice artist
Years active1971–2013
Spouse(s)Robert K. Gibson (1956 - July 3, 1961; divorced)
William David Sowle (19?? - February 14, 2013; his death)

Diana Mae Sowle (née Laumer; June 19, 1930 – October 19, 2018) was an American actress and voice artist.

Early life[edit]

Born as Diana Mae Laumer in Chico, California, she was one of five siblings. She attended Chico High School, and appeared in school plays, where she became interested in drama. She graduated in 1949, and attended the University of Denver, after which she appeared in the play "The Drunkard". She did voice-over for American plays and appeared in theater in Germany.[1]


Film roles[edit]

Diana is best known for playing Mrs. Bucket, Charlie's Bucket's mother, in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and her performance of "Cheer Up Charlie" in that film, although her voice in the song was dubbed by Diana Lee.[2] Sowle joined the cast in Germany, where it was filmed.[1] Apart from Chocolate Factory, her only other screen roles were cameos in Clear and Present Danger and Guarding Tess, both in 1994.

Video game[edit]

Sowle also gave voice to "Agatha" and other characters in the 2008 video game Fallout 3.


She frequently performed in the long-running play Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center, portraying socialite Eleanor Shubert. Her last-known appearance was in May-June 2013. In mid-2012, she appeared in a production of Love Letters, opposite actor Larry Storch in Farmville, Virginia, to benefit The Tom Mix Rangers.

Personal life[edit]

Sowle lived in Germany for about 20 years starting in 1960 and had other homes, including one in Maryland (in the Washington, D.C., area). She was a mother of two and grandmother of four. Her husband Bill Sowle worked for the CIA and died in 2013. She ran a free tutoring program for underprivileged children in Washington D.C. for almost a quarter-century.[3][4]


Sowle died of undisclosed causes in Maryland on October 19, 2018, aged 88.[5][6][7]



Year Title Role Notes
1971 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Mrs. Bucket
1994 Guarding Tess Hairdresser
Clear and Present Danger Cartel Maid final film role


Year Title Notes
2003 After They Were Famous 1 episode, Archive footage

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2008 Fallout 3 Old Lady Palmer / Agatha / Margaret Primrose / Manya Vargas / Bloomseer Poplar / Tiffany Cheng / Leaf Mother Laurel / Old Lady Dithers / Mother Maya Voice


  1. ^ a b "Chico native who played in 'Willy Wonka' dies at 88". 24 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) - Notes - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies.
  3. ^ "Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory actress Diana Sowle dies aged 88". 21 October 2018.
  4. ^ Jedra, Christina (December 5, 2015). "Wonka's Mrs. Bucket to appear at Annapolis chocolate festival". Capital Gazette. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  5. ^ "Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory actress Diana Sowle dies aged 88". 21 October 2018.
  6. ^ "'Willy Wonka' actress Diana Sowle dies at 88". Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  7. ^ "Willy Wonka actress Diana Sowle dies". bbc.com. 22 October 2018. Retrieved October 23, 2018.

External links[edit]