Friday, November 4, 2011

LEONARD STONE DIES: GENERAL HOSPITAL's Packy Moore, FALCON CREST's Judge Miller & Violet's Father in "Willy Wonka" Succumbs to Cancer

Character Actor Leonard Stone, who has appeared in 35 films and over 120 television programs, has died.

With extensive TV credits dating back to the mid-1950s, Stone, a native of Salem, Oregon, appeared on such shows as GENERAL HOSPITAL (Packy Moore), FALCON CREST (Judge Carl Fuller), L.A. LAW (Judge Paul Hanson), CAMP RUNAMUCK (Doc Joslyn) and many more.

In GENERAL HOSPITAL, he played the crusty fight manager Packy Moore, part of a Port Charles boxing story line in 1982.  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, played by Stone.

Stone also had a Broadway career, and received a Tony nomination for his role as George Poppett in the 1959 Bob Fosse musical Redhead, starring Gwen Verdon and set in London at the time of Jack the Ripper.

He passed Tuesday, November 2, 2010--the day before his birthday. Those closest to him say he never tired of reciting lines from the original 1971 "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" for eager fans; coincidentally, a public screening of the film (free for children) is planned for this Sunday at Ann Arbor's Michigan Theater. Stone had been battling cancer, and is remembered by his large family, including many children and grandchildren.

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