Peter Ostrum (Charlie Bucket)
Peter Ostrum was 12 years old when he auditioned for the lead role of Charlie Bucket. Ostrum actually went through puberty during the film. His voice is high during the duet of “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket”, and is much deeper later in the film, such as during the bubble scene. It turned out to be Ostrum’s first and only acting role.
Ostrum, now 58, went on to become a veterinarian, graduating from Cornell University in 1984. He works with mostly cows and horses, a passion that developed as a young boy. He is married with two children. He provided commentary on a recent release of the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory DVD and often appears at movie conventions.
Of Wilder’s passing, Ostrum had to say, “It’s kind of like losing a parent. You know it’s going to happen, but it’s still a shock. He was not in good health at the end and it was not unexpected by any means, but when it happens it hits you like, ‘Gene is gone and there will never be anyone like him again.’”