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Leonard Stone appears as Sam Beauregarde and Denise Nickerson appears as her daughter Violet in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. - Provided courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Leonard Stone, 'Willy Wonka' actor, dead at 87

11/03/2011 by Olivia Allin

Leonard Stone who played Sam Beauregarde, father of Violet, in the 1971 film "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," died on Nov. 2, 2011 after battling cancer.

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He passed away a day before what would have been his 88th birthday, People magazine reports.

In "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," Stone uttered the infamous line, "Violet! You're turning violet, Violet!" to his daughter, a gum-chewing champion, when she turns into a blueberry after chewing gum made by Wonka that tastes like a three-course dinner, watch a clip here.

Stone, who was raised in Salem, Oregon has a slew of television credits dating back to 1956, including "L.A. Law," "General Hospital," "M*A*S*H," "Hill Street Blues," "Night Court," "Alice," "Barney Miller," "Sanford and Son," "Gunsmoke," and "Mission: Impossible."

Stone also appeared on Broadway and received a Tony nomination for his appearance in the 1959 Bob Fosse musical, "Redhead." The actor's last role was in the 2006 TV movie "Surrender Dorothy.

In September 2000, Stone appeared as a contestant on "Wheel of Fortune" and placed second, winning $4,250 and a trip to Bermuda, according to the Internet Movie Database.

Correction: In the November 3 story above, OnTheRedCarpet.com erroneously reported in the headline that Stone died at age 88. He died at 87, the day before what would have been his 88th birthday, as stated in the above story. The headline has been updated to reflect the correction.

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