What is Peter Ostrum’s Net Worth?
Peter Ostrum is an American large animal veterinarian and former child actor who has a net worth of $500 thousand. Peter Ostrum will always be best known for playing the role of Charlie Bucket in the 1971 film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.”
Peter Ostrum received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University College of Veterinary Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1984. When Peter was teenager his family bought a horse and it was the animal’s veterinarian that sparked his interest in medicine. After high school he took a short break before starting college and groomed horses and worked at the Delaware Equine Center in Pennsylvania. Dr. Ostrum currently works at the Countryside Veterinary Clinic in Lowville, New York, and he has been filmed while working on two separate occasions by Pfizer’s video series Veterinarians on Call. This video series highlights the work veterinarians whose patients are large animals.
Peter Ostrum was born in Dallas, Texas on November 1, 1957 to parents Dean and Sarepta Ostrum. He grew up with his three older siblings. The family moved several times throughout Ostrum’s childhood, to Cleveland and later to New Jersey. He attended North Hunterdon Regional High School in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.
Ostrum began performing in children’s theatre at the Cleveland Play House. When he was in the sixth grade, he was noticed by talent agents who were conducting a nationwide search for an actor to play the character of Charlie Bucket in the upcoming film production of “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” They recorded him reading from the novel and then left. Two months later, he was called to New York to do a screen test for the film and was ultimately selected for the role a month later. He was given ten days to prepare to leave for filming, which took place in Munich, Germany in August of 1970.
Over the span of the next five months, Ostrum remained on set to complete filming. During this time, he was tutored for several hours a day to make up for the school he was missing. He also worked with a dialogue coach in order to deliver his lines properly. While his own singing voice was actually not supposed to appear in the film, in the final cut it is Ostrum’s voice that is heard.
As he had never before acted in a film, actor Gene Wilder took him under his wing and gave him many tips for how to succeed in the business. Ostrum has since stated that Wilder had a massive impact on this life, despite the fact that the two never saw each other again after filming. The film went on to do decently at the box office and received generally favorable reviews. It received an Academy Award nomination in the Best Original Score category. In later years, the film has become a cult classic and became very popular due to repeated television airings.
After filming wrapped, Ostrum was offered a three-year film contract but ultimately declined to accept. He returned to high school and began auditioning for other roles but did not get any offers. He then decided to leave him film career behind and also declined to speak on the topic. He even began telling people that it had been his brother, not him, who had played in the film. However, he slowly began talking about the film again over time. Once a year he speaks to students at a local school, Lowville Academy, about the film. He also attended the Snowtown Film Festival in Watertown, New York and answered questions about the film before it was screened.
In the lead up to the release of the new version of “Charlie and the Charlie Factory” starring Johnny Depp in 2005, Ostrum participated in a few promotional events. He attended a screening of the film with NPR and gave a number of interviews until the requests for them became so overwhelming that he had to stop answering his phone.
Rather than acting, Ostrum decided to pursue other career avenues. After he finished filming “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” Ostrum returned home and his family acquired a horse shortly thereafter. He enjoyed caring for the horse but was also struck by the visits from the veterinarian, which left a lasting impression on him. After finishing high school, he took a break from school before attending college in order to work at the Delaware Equine Center in Pennsylvania where he groomed horses and provided other forms of care. He then briefly visited Hollywood to explore whether he did want to act but then decided to pursue veterinary medicine instead.
Ostrum enrolled in college and then was accepted to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine where he received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1984. He then began working as a vet in Lowville, New York and continues doing so today. He works with the Countryside Veterinary Clinic, where he primarily works with horses and cows, and is also a managing partner with the Dairy Health & Management Services. In 2012, Ostrum participated in “Veterinarians on Call,” a video series funded by Pfizer that highlights the world of large animal veterinarians.
In the late 1980s, Ostrum married Loretta Lepkowski. The could have had two children together, Helenka and Leif. The family has a residence in Glenfield, New York. For a time, his son was interested in becoming an actor and participated in a number of local theater performances.