'Wonka' actor who played Violet's dad dies at 87

November 4, 2011 - 10:20 PM

ENCINITAS, Calif. (AP) — Leonard Stone, who played the father who accompanied chronic gum-chewer Violet Beauregarde on a tour through a far-out candy palace in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," has died.

Granddaughter Lindsey Fryman-Borchard tells The Associated Press that Stone died of cancer Wednesday in Encinitas, Calif., a day before his 88th birthday.

He was best known as fast-talking father Sam Beauregarde in the 1971 film that starred Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. Stone watches in horror as his daughter turns into a giant blueberry and utters the famous line "Violet, you're turning violet, Violet!"

The Oregon native went on to play recurring characters in many television series including "Barney Miller," ''Hill Street Blues" and "L.A. Law." In 2005, he played Warren Buffett in the Arnold Schwarzenegger TV biopic, "See Arnold Run."