Leonard Stone, the actor who played young Violet Beauregarde’s over-indulgent father in 1971’s classic Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, died yesterday after a struggle with cancer, just one day short of his birthday. He was 87.
Initially a stage actor who received a Best Supporting Actor in a Musical Tony Award nomination for his work in the 1959 show Redhead, Stone’s career consisted largely of television work. But it was his role of Sam Beauregarde, the father of Golden Ticket winner Violet, that his is best remembered. Stone was one of the last surviving actors to have played a parent in the film.
His other film work includes small roles in Return To Peyton Place, Soylent Green, Mame and the animated American Pop.