There are many famous and influential people that have ties to Central New York. From Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred who was born in Rome, NY to Tom Cruise from Syracuse, NY there is a wide range of people in sports, films and politics that have called our region home.

One of those individuals is Peter Ostrum who is best known for his role as Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and he's making a special appearance at Mohawk Valley Community College. Ostrum is also known by many in Lewis County for his work as a long-time veterinarian. While Ostrum was not born in Upstate New York, he certainly has lived and worked here for a long time.

Read More: Peter Ostrum Reflects on the Life of Gene Wilder

Ostrum was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and by the age of 12 was living in Ohio. That is when talent agents noticed him performing at the Cleveland Play House Children's Theater. Upon further review and screen tests, Ostrum left for Munich, Germany on August 10th, 1970 to film the movie, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," with the famous Gene Wilder. Ostrum spoke about Wilder following his death in 2016 saying,

He was so quirky. You never knew what to expect from Gene. He never let on how he was going to read a line or convey an expression. That’s why the film works, because he made Wonka so unpredictable.

After starring in one of the most iconic films in history, Ostrum took a different career path eventually going to college to become a vet. Eventually he wound up working in that profession caring for mostly horses and cows in Lowville, NY.

30th Anniversary of "Willy Wonka"
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

As of September of 2023, Ostrum retired from his practice known as Countryside Veterinary Clinic. But, fans of the film and the vet can come and spend an evening with him at Mohawk Valley Community College on Thursday, May 2nd, 2024 at 6 p.m. The event will take place at the Schafer Theater, Wilcox Hall. He will be telling stories about his time filming the movie, behind-the-scenes and what happened after the film.

Tickets are available now and you can get them on the MVCC website.

15 Sports Figures from the Utica-Rome Area

A lot of big names in the sports world come from the Mohawk Valley and the Utica-Rome area.

Gallery Credit: Jim Rondenelli

What 19 Iconic Movies Would Look Like If Filmed in CNY

We've all seen those iconic movies scene. But what would they look like if it was shot in New York instead of Hollywood?

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

Hollywood Comes to Little Falls to Film 'A Quiet Place'

Hollywood came to Little Falls in 2017. John Krasinski and his wife Emily Blunt took over Main Street to film parts of 'A Quiet Place'

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

More From 96.9 WOUR