Leonard Stone in 1967
November 3, 1923
Salem, Oregon, U.S.
|Died||November 2, 2011 (aged 87)|
Encinitas, California, U.S.
(m. 1964; his death 2011)
Leonard Stone (November 3, 1923 – November 2, 2011) was an American character actor who played supporting roles in over 120 television shows and 35 films.
Stone was born Leonard Steinbock in Salem, Oregon. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Steinbock, he was a graduate of Salem High School. He majored in speech and drama at Willamette University, graduating cum laude.
Stone started his career as a young actor studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London 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.
He won a Tony Award in 1959 for Best Supporting Actor in Redhead, 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 pay, based on the Thomas Wolfe novel, won the Pulitzer Prize.
One of Stone's more notable film roles came in 1971, when he played Mr. Beauregarde, the father of Golden Ticket winner Violet Beauregarde, in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. He was the last surviving adult character who toured the factory in the movie; however, Diana Sowle, who played Mrs. Bucket, lived until October 2018. In 1973’s Soylent Green he played Charles, the manager of the building where the murdered character portrayed by Joseph Cotten lived.
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. 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).
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 (5 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, Gomer Pyle: USMC (twice), Dragnet 1967 (5 times), The Partridge Family, Nanny and the Professor, Mod Squad, The Virginian, Love, American Style (twice), The Waltons, Mission: Impossible (3 times), Adam-12, Barney Miller (5 times), Hawaii Five-O, Ironside (3 times), Kojak, Mannix (4 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, One Day at a Time, Quincy M.E. (4 times), Cagney & Lacey, Alice (4 times), Night Court, Hill Street Blues (twice), Falcon Crest (3 times), Simon & Simon and L.A. Law (10 times).
In 1961 and 1962, Stone was twice cast 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 6, 1962 role as murderer Jerel Leland in "The Case of the Hateful Hero."
Stone played Farnum the Great in 2 episodes of Lost in Space (1965-1968).:624:527. 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. In 1967, he had the role of Judge Gilroy in Cimarron Strip.: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."
Between 1988 and 1994, he was cast as Judge Paul Hansen in 10 episodes of L.A. Law.
Stone's final role came in 2006 at the age of 83, when he played a minor character in the TV movie Surrender Dorothy.
Stone died on November 2, 2011 in Encinitas, California after suffering a brief bout with cancer, one day short of his 88th birthday.