08:05 AM EDT 03/19/2015
Originally posted 11/03/2011 02:00PM
Character actor Leonard Stone, who played Sam Beauregard, the brash American father of gum-smacking Violet Beauregard in the 1971 children's movie musical Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, died from cancer on Wednesday, his family confirms to PEOPLE. He would have turned 88 on Thursday.
With extensive TV credits dating back to the mid-1950s, Stone, a native of Salem, Oregon, appeared on such shows as L.A. Law (as Judge Paul Hanson), General Hospital, M*A*S*H, Hill Street Blues, Night Court, Alice, Barney Miller, All in the Family and Mission: Impossible, according to the Internet Movie Database.
In Willy Wonka, based on the 1964 Roald Dahl novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Violet (Denise Nickerson) fails to follow the strict rules set down by the candymaker (Gene Wilder) and ends up turning into a blueberry, much to the dismay of her father.
Top 5 Most Voted Stories
The Duggars Respond to Reports That Josh Duggar Was Accused of Child Molestation
TLC Confirms 19 Kids and Counting Pulled from Schedule After Child Molestation Accusations
Mike Huckabee Reaffirms Support for Duggar Family After Josh Duggar Accused of Child Molestation
Read Josh Duggar's Full Resignation Letter to the Family Research Council
Kelly Rutherford Says Ex Won't Let Her See Kids Until She Turns Over Their Passports
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!