Leonard Stone
Leonard Stone in 1967
Leonard Steinbock

(1923-11-03)November 3, 1923
DiedNovember 2, 2011(2011-11-02) (aged 87)
Alma materWillamette University
Years active1956–2006

Leonard Stone (born Leonard Steinbock; November 3, 1923 – November 2, 2011[1]) was an American character actor who played supporting roles in over 120 television shows and 35 films.

Early life

Stone was born in Salem, Oregon.[2] The son of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Steinbock, he was a graduate of Salem High School.[3] He majored in speech and drama at Willamette University, graduating cum laude.[4]

Military service

He was a midshipman during training with the U.S. Navy, going on to serve as "skipper on a minesweeper in Japanese waters".[5]


Stone started his career as a young actor studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London[4] He performed in the West End, on Broadway, and toured the world. He traveled for eight years in Australia and New Zealand with the musical South Pacific.[6]

In 1959, he won the Tony Award for Best Supporting Actor in Redhead,[7] a Bob Fosse musical. He also was in the Tony Award-nominated cast of Look Homeward, Angel in 1957, which premiered at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York. The play, based on the Thomas Wolfe novel, won the Pulitzer Prize.[8]

Film and television

One of Stone's more notable film roles came in 1971, when he played Mr. Beauregarde, the father of Golden Ticket winner Violet Beauregarde (played by Denise Nickerson), in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.[9] He was the last surviving adult character who toured the factory in the movie, but Diana Sowle, who played Mrs. Bucket, was still alive at the time of his death.[10] In 1973's Soylent Green, he played Charles, the manager of the building where the murdered character portrayed by Joseph Cotten lived.[11]

In 1956, Stone appeared in a minor role as a crew member on the RMS Titanic in a TV adaptation of Walter Lord's book A Night to Remember.[12]

He was the bartender in The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968), and a congressman in The Man (1972), which starred James Earl Jones as the first Black president of the United States. He appeared in the Jerry Lewis vehicle The Big Mouth in 1967.[13] Other films he appeared in include The Mugger (1958), A Man Called Dagger (1968), Angel in My Pocket (1969), Zig Zag (1970), Getting Straight (1970), I Love My Wife (1970), Mame (1974), and The Man from Independence (1974).[14]

Stone appeared in the TV movies The Ghost of Sierra de Cobra (1964), A Step Out of Line (1971), Terror in the Sky (1971), Beg, Borrow or Steal (1973), The Runaways (1975), The Girl in the Empty Grave (1977), The Other Side of Hell (1978), Zuma Beach (1978), See Arnold Run (2005), and Surrender, Dorothy (2006).

Between 1961 and 1985, Stone appeared in dozens of popular American television series, including Peter Gunn, The Untouchables, Gunsmoke (five times), The Rifleman (twice), The Defenders, The Real McCoys (twice), The Outer Limits, Dr. Kildare (twice), McHale's Navy, Rawhide (twice), The F.B.I., The Doris Day Show, The High Chaparral, Lost in Space (twice), Gomer Pyle: USMC (twice), Dragnet 1967 (five times), The Partridge Family, Nanny and the Professor, Mod Squad, The Virginian, Love, American Style (twice), The Waltons, Mission: Impossible (three times), Adam-12, Barney Miller (five times), Hawaii Five-O, Ironside (three times), Kojak, Mannix (four times), Police Story (twice), Cannon, The Blue Knight, The Bob Newhart Show, Sanford and Son, M*A*S*H, Eight Is Enough, The Six Million Dollar Man, All in the Family, The Dukes of Hazzard, General Hospital, One Day at a Time, Quincy M.E. (four times), Cagney & Lacey, Alice (four times), Night Court, Hill Street Blues (twice), Falcon Crest (three times), Simon & Simon, and L.A. Law (10 times).[6]

In 1961 and 1962, Stone was cast twice in different roles on The Real McCoys in the episodes "Money from Heaven" and "You Can't Beat the Army". Between 1962 and 1966, Stone made four guest appearances on Perry Mason, including his season-six, 1962 role as murderer Jerel Leland in "The Case of the Hateful Hero".[15]

Stone played Farnum the Great in two episodes of Lost in Space (1965-1968).[16]: 624 [16]: 527 . He appeared twice on The Donna Reed Show, as Mr. Trestle in "The Good Guys and the Bad Guys" (1961) and as Harlan Carmody, Jr., in "Joe College" (1965). In the 1965–1966 season, he appeared as Doc Joslyn on Camp Runamuck.[16] In 1967, he had the role of Judge Gilroy in Cimarron Strip.[16]: 188  In 1971, Stone appeared as Tom Wagner on The Men from Shiloh (rebranded name for The Virginian) in the episode titled "The Town Killer".[citation needed]

Between 1988 and 1994, he was cast as Judge Paul Hansen in 10 episodes of L.A. Law.[17]

On September 22, 2000, he appeared on an episode of Wheel of Fortune.

Stone's final role came in 2006 at the age of 83, when he played a minor character in the TV movie Surrender Dorothy.[18]


Stone died on November 2, 2011, in Encinitas, California[19] after suffering a brief bout with cancer, just one day before his 88th birthday.[20]




  1. ^ Slotnik, Daniel E. (5 November 2011). "Leonard Stone, Actor in 'Willy Wonka,' Dies at 87". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  2. ^ Wilson, Scott (19 August 2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons. Vol. 2 (3d ed.). McFarland. p. 719. ISBN 978-1-4766-2599-7. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Salem Actor Headed for Australia". Statesman Journal. Salem, Oregon. July 29, 1952. p. 6. Retrieved December 30, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ a b Ross, Eileen Scott (May 17, 1950). "Young Salem Actor Sails for London to Be in 'Mr. Roberts'". Daily Capital Journal. Salem, Oregon. p. 2. Retrieved December 30, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "Steinbock to Attend English Drama School". Statesman Journal. Salem, Oregon. April 10, 1947. p. 3. Retrieved December 30, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ a b "Leonard Stone, Actor with Vast Television Credits". Television Academy.
  7. ^ "("Leonard Stone" search results)". Tony Awards. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Look Homeward, Angel". Internet Broadway Database.
  9. ^ Jones, Stephen (2012). The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 23. Little, Brown Book Group. ISBN 978-0-7624-4597-4. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  10. ^ Jedra, Christina (December 5, 2015). "Wonka's Mrs. Bucket to appear at Annapolis chocolate festival". Capital Gazette. Annapolis. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  11. ^ "Soylent Green (1973)". British Film Institute (BFI). Archived from the original on August 22, 2016.
  12. ^ "Kraft Television Theatre: A Night to Remember (TV)". Paley Center for Media. Retrieved November 14, 2021.
  13. ^ "The Big Mouth (1967)". BFI. Archived from the original on July 6, 2020.
  14. ^ "Leonard Stone". BFI. Archived from the original on March 26, 2019.
  15. ^ "Leonard Stone | TV, Documentary and Other Appearances". AllMovie.
  16. ^ a b c d Terrace, Vincent (January 10, 2014). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Company. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-7864-8641-0. Retrieved November 14, 2021.
  17. ^ Slotnik, Daniel E. (November 5, 2011). "Leonard Stone, Actor in 'Willy Wonka,' Dies at 87". The New York Times.
  18. ^ "Leonard Stone | Movies and Filmography". AllMovie.
  19. ^ Jones, Kenneth (November 4, 2011). "Tony Nominee Leonard Stone, Character Actor of "Willy Wonka," Dies at 87". Playbill Magazine. Archived from the original on 5 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  20. ^ "Actor Leonard Stone dies". Variety Magazine. Associated Press. November 6, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2021.