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Credit: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: Everett Collection

After he starred in 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Peter Ostrum (at right, with costar Gene Wilder) walked away from Charlie Bucket’s lifetime supply of chocolate — and a three-picture deal. Today, Ostrum is a 47-year-old(!) veterinarian in Lowville, a New York dairy-farming town near the Canadian border, and he’s so hesitant to discuss his famous voyage on the chocolate river, even with the new version opening in theaters Friday, that he’ll talk about it only once a year, to an assembly of local schoolchildren. Talking briefly to the grownups at the Associated Press and the New York Daily News, he says his message to the kids is that ”there’s a bigger world out there.” Ostrum’s been there, 34 years ago, and he’s apparently not going back.

addCredit(“Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: Everett Collection”)

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