Leonard Stone, Oregon’s most successful character actor, was born in Salem in 1923. IMDB clocks him at over 120 television series appearances and 35 feature films. His most famous film role is in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, where he plays Mr. Beauregard, Violet’s father.
Stone’s road to Hollywood, like that of James Ivory, his near contemporary, involved graduate studies interrupted by WWII, and then a long professional apprenticeship in a foreign land. Stone was a student at the Royal Academy for the Dramatic Arts in London when the war broke out. The Navy cast him as the captain of a minesweeper. After the war, he spent eight years performing ( possibly the role of sailor? ) in an Australian touring company of South Pacific. Then came the Tony nomination in New York. Then came the Hollywood career.
Stone appeared in Dr. Kildare, McHale’s Navy, Rawhide, Perry Mason, Lost In Space, Dragnet, The Partridge Family, Mod Squad, Mannix, Gunsmoke, Sanford and Son and MASH. He appeared in The Bob Newhart Show, Barney Miller, and Quincey. He appeared in Hill Street Blues and LA Law. On and on.
Bottom line: if you’ve ever watched TV, you’ve seen Leonard Stone. If you missed him on TV, and in Willy Wonka, maybe you saw in Soylent Green, or heard in him in American Pop, where he continued Oregon’s long, fine tradition of providing voice artists to the world.