'Willy Wonka' Actor Dead at 87

11/3/2011 8:55 AM PDT

Leonard Stone 'Willy Wonka' Actor -- Dead at 87

Leonard Stone -- the guy who played Violet Beauregarde's dad in the 1971 classic, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" died yesterday after a bout with cancer ... a rep for the actor tells TMZ.

Family members tell us Stone -- who famously delivered the line, "Violet, you're turning VIOLET!" -- loved being an actor and would often recite lines from the movie anytime people asked him to.

Stone also appeared on "Wheel of Fortune" back in 2000 ... winning $4,250 in cash and a trip to Bermuda.

He was 87.