Best known for playing a young Pavel Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek franchise and for roles in films such as Terminator Salvation and Green Room, actor Anton Yelchin died this morning. He was 27.
The cause of Yelchin’s death, according to his representative, was a fatal traffic collision at his San Fernando Valley home. The rep stated, “His family requests you respect their privacy at this time.”
Yelchin had recently signed on to star in Guillermo del Toro’s animated Netflix series Trollhunters alongside Ron Perlman and Kelsey Grammer. In addition to returning next month as Chekov in Star Trek Beyond, he also had the dramatic features We Don’t Belong Here and Porto wrapped up.
The actor was born Anton Viktorovich Yelchin to professional figure skater parents Viktor Yelchin and Irina Korina in Leningrad, Russia on March 11, 1989 and was six months of age when his family emigrated to the United States. After starting out as an actor with a series of supporting parts on television, Yelchin won his first high-profile role in a motion picture when he was cast opposite Anthony Hopkins in the 2001 Stephen King adaptation Hearts in Atlantis.
From there Yelchin went on to an eclectic series of lead and supporting roles in films such as Along Came a Spider, Alpha Dog, Charlie Bartlett, The Beaver, Odd Thomas, Only Loves Left Alive, and the remake of Fright Night. In 2009, he was cast as Chekov in the Star Trek reboot directed by J.J. Abrams and played the character in the 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness. He also provided the voice of Clumsy Smurf in the Smurfs movie franchise and was most recently seen as a punk rock musician battling murderous Neo-Nazi skinheads in Jeremy Saulnier’s tense and violent independent thriller Green Room.
Anton Yelchin was a talented actor who carved out an impressive career in film and television and brought humanity and class to every character he played. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. He will be missed.