‘Star Trek’ Actor Anton Yelchin Dies at 27

Anton Yelchin Dead
John Salangsang/BFAnyc.com/REX/Shutterstock

Anton Yelchin, known for roles in “Star Trek” and “Alpha Dog,” died early Sunday morning in a freak accident, a spokeswoman confirmed to Variety. He was 27.

“Actor Anton Yelchin was killed in a fatal traffic collision early this morning,” said a statement from his representative. “His family requests you respect their privacy at this time.”

The LAPD said he was pinned by his own car at his Studio City home. Friends apparently became concerned when Yelchin did not show up for a band performance. They found him at his home pinned between his car and a brick mailbox pillar.

“It appears he had exited his car and was behind it when the vehicle rolled down a steep driveway,” the LAPD said in a statement.

Police reportedly told TMZ that the engine was still running when he was found, and that his car was in neutral. It’s not clear why he got out of his car with the engine running.

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Anton Yelchin Death

Hollywood Mourns Anton Yelchin: ‘He Was a True Artist’

His most prominent role was as Pavel Chekov, the Russian ensign in the rebooted “Star Trek” film series. The most recent film in the franchise, “Star Trek Beyond,” debuts on July 22.

Paramount Pictures released a statement, saying, “All of us at Paramount join the world in morning the untimely passing of Antony Yelchin. As a member of the Star Trek family, he was beloved by so many and he will missed by all. We share our deepest condolences with his mother, father and family.”

Born in Leningrad in the former Soviet Union, Yelchin and his family emigrated to the United States when he was just six months old, seeking political asylum. His parents were both star figure skaters. He began acting at an early age, launching his professional career as a 9 year-old. He impressed critics and audiences with a series of prominent roles, holding his own against the likes of Anthony Hopkins and Robin Williams while playing shy or emotionally damaged kids in the likes of “House of D” and “Hearts in Atlantis.” For two seasons he co-starred opposite Hank Azaria in the Showtime series “Huff,” playing  a precocious teenager whose life is upended by his father’s personal and professional crisis.

As a young adult, he justified that early acclaim, turning in mature, sensitively wrought performances as drug-peddling title character in “Charlie Bartlett” and as Jacob, a lovelorn college student in Drake Doremus’ “Like Crazy.” In the Los Angeles Times, critic Kenneth Turan praised Yelchin’s work in “Like Crazy” as “fearless,” writing that  he “…expertly delineates the core quietness of Jacob, his tangible seriousness and sincerity.”

Yelchin also brushed with mainstream success, appearing in “Terminator Salvation” and doing voice work on “The Smurfs” movies. Critics noted that his performance in “Odd Thomas,” based on the Dean Koontz book, was superior to the rest of the movie.

After news of Yelchin’s death broke Sunday, friends and co-stars reacted on Twitter and social media.

John Cho, who worked with Yelchin on “Star Trek,” tweeted, “I loved Anton Yelchin so much. He was a true artist – curious, beautiful, courageous. He was a great pal and a great son. I’m in ruins.”

And Kat Dennings added, “Anton Yelchin was one of my best friends. Can’t say anything that conveys what this feels like.”

Anton Yelchin: His Life and Career

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  1. Mark Knight says:

    Hello!Greetings from Ulster,UK!I have just discover your site dedicated to all the prematurely departed beloved celebrities we have lost in 2016,together with their photo galleries & their highly emotional obituaries as well.R.I.P. Forever in our hearts.

  2. Watching star trek so sad. He was so great. Hoping his family is doing okay it must be hard to see biggest movie in world and your son was in it and can’t enjoy it with them.

  3. RaymondMcAfee says:

    I’ve watched Anton perform in many films, and found that he always put that extra effort in every role he played Be it drama, comedy, or dark movies. I have never been disappointed in any of his movies. My favorites are Odd Thomas, Fright Night, and of course playing Chekov on the Star Trek movies. He was a very talented actor, and he still had so much more to give in the future. I send my heartfelt condolences to his family. He went too young, but he left a great legacy of films. RIP! Anton

    • DD says:

      SO very enjoyable to watch. Loved him in Odd Thomas. Makes me smile even thinking about him in that role. Such a loss! A senseless accident. I love that his community of actors and directors and artists appreciated him too.

  4. MaryannAWilliams says:

    I was devastated to hear about the tragic death of Antonio Yelchin. He was a beloved actor and a talented star who will be missed.

  5. Tom Francella says:

    I was so sorry to hear about the sudden passing of Anton Yelchin- great young actor who had a bright future!

  6. |:} says:

    A recent “Official Report” would suggest that Anton Yelchin’s death was assessed, “accidental”! But!… if my memory is serving me correctly!… this geography was the same part of the world, that declared– unequivocally!– that OJ Simpson DID NOT kill his wife!… and!… IN A COURT OF LAW! Good luck LA!… with your now, “Official Assessment”!

  7. Jacques Strappe says:

    A tragic accident that could have been avoided. Per the AP: The SUV that rolled down a driveway and killed “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin was being recalled because the gear shifters have confused drivers, causing the vehicles to roll away unexpectedly, government records show.

    The 2015 model-year Grand Cherokees were part of a global recall of 1.1 million vehicles announced by Fiat Chrysler in April, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records show.

    • millerfilm says:

      Rick’s Comment: Paid for by Chrysler!

      • Rick Anderson says:

        A lack of critical thought leads to people going along with blame shifting. 200 people a year die the exact same way in cars from others companies without this shifter.

        But they aren’t celebrities, and those cars don’t have a new kind of shifter, so I guess that doesn’t count.

        Congratulations on helping to find the cause and fix this problem millerfilm!

  8. Paula says:

    Wow! I am absolutely stunned. What a tremendous loss of a talented young actor who had such a promising future. So sorry for his passing. RIP

  9. Tom T says:

    If you must write this much then you obviously need better things to do with your time…..like hobbies or
    standing on a sidewalk and shouting at people….give it a try….can’t hurt.

  10. Maria says:

    It does sound weird, I mean he was at his house, he knew how the path was, why would he leave his car without securing it first? why would he put himself in that position?

  11. Bobbit says:

    I just don’t see how it could be a non-drug related accident.

  12. wasstraw says:

    So sad. RIP young one.

  13. Christina says:

    Mourning* Js..

  14. John says:

    I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but these brick mailboxes are built like tombstone, maybe this incident will make all the HOA think about eliminating brick mailboxes for safety purpose, it that were happened to a kid, the kid would have been crushed.

  15. BillUSA says:

    Pardon my language but that’s a god-damned shame. He was an up-and-coming kid just hitting the big time. Prayers and condolences to his family.

  16. William Hamilton says:

    I have always loved him as a child actor over the years. What is this twenty-seven year course? So many wonderful entertainers lives are ended at age twenty-seven. Why is that?

  17. millerfilm says:

    Oh my gosh! How awful! He had such a spark and such life about him. Such a tragedy to lose someone like him so soon.

  18. Marc Rosen says:

    What a terrible shock and tragedy, my very deepest condolences to his parents and siblings. He was an exceptionally gifted and talented young actor, and ALL of us that have enjoyed his work will certainly miss him dearly. He will be remembered very fondly, and with smiles. RIP.

  19. DD says:

    Awful!! Very disturbing.
    Practically everyone on Amazon thought he was great in the underrated Odd Thomas.

  20. Wil Mer says:

    Deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Anton Yelchin. His loss will be deeply felt by us, his fans. You are in my thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. God be with you.

  21. Sag Member says:

    This story is inconsistent at first it says he died in a fatal traffic collision then it says he was pinned to a brick wall by his own car because he left the engine on. Who gets out their car and leave the engine on?? Something doesn’t smell right about this story and how he died. RIP Anon

    • Rick Anderson says:

      Miranda and whispersd are spot on, he got out of a running car on a hill, never checked either of the two shift indicators to see if he was in park, never set the parking brake, never shut off the engine and removed the key, then ignored the loud chiming bells that indicate an unsafe condition, ignored the flashing red lights on the dash that indicate the vehicle is in neutral, and ignored the flashing red text on the dash stating the vehicle was in neutral.

      He walked to behind the vehicle to the mailbox, that is in a brick wall and the vehicle rolled down hill into him and killed him, which was both a collision and pinning him to the wall.

      Read the NHTSA report, the shifter is different, and some people that do NOT get used to it and shift only on feel, which you’re not suppose to do, might be more likely to make a mistake shifting into the wrong gear. The NHTSA said this could only be a problem if the driver also fails to do a half dozen things they should do to park properly, and ignore three different warnings clearly warning them of the mistake. The recall is to add even more idiot proofing to the vehicle, simply because the vehicle has the ability to do so. It doesn’t change the fact that the driver failed to park the vehicle properly and that people lose their life like this, in vehicles without this shifter, all the time because of the carelessness and negligence of many drivers that no one wants to acknowledge.

    • Laura says:

      There was a recall to jeeps for this very same thing! It wasn’t his fault.
      My guess is he went to get mail and his jeep rolled back because of the failure of Jeep!

    • whispersd says:

      Wild guess…he got out of the car to get his mail – didn’t notice it was in neutral.

      Certainly sounds more likely than some more elaborate explanation.

    • Miranda James says:

      People get out of their car with the engine running all the time. It sounds like he forgot he left it in neutral when he got out, and it rolled backwards and hit him. Really nothing mysterious, but truly sad.

  22. Sounds like he hopped out to grab the mail, and thought he threw it into park. RIP :(

    • Rick Anderson says:

      Yep, most likely scenario and that is the NHTSA complaint with this new kind of shifter. If you think the only thing you need to do to hop out of a running car on a hill to get your mail, is to slam the shift lever forward and NOT check on the indicator what gear it actually was in and NOT do any of the other things you’re suppose to do to properly park a vehicle, then you have a “slightly” higher chance of NOT actually getting the vehicle into Park and Neutral instead. You’d then have to ignore 3 separate warnings telling you that you failed to get it into Park.

      The recall is to better idiot proof the Jeep against negligent drivers, the NHTSA report says as much, there is no malfunction or defect. The media should be reporting about how carelessness and negligence on drivers part, for even a second can costs lives. But its easier to just blame a company because they didn’t idiot proof their vehicle enough against the most incompetent and careless drivers.

  23. Rick Gile says:

    This is sad indeed, and the circumstances even more tragic. Anton was a great actor and kind person. He had so much more ahead of him. He has been taken too soon. RIP Anton. My heart goes out to his family and his friends…. may you all find peace in the company of one another…. use one another’s strength and the knowledge that he was so loved by his fans to help you thru this horrible time.

  24. Fajri Shah says:

    That doesn’t even sound possible. If the car was on a steep driveway and in neutral, it would start rolling back before he exited the car. Suspect!!!!!

  25. stevenkovacs says:

    So sad to hear of the tragic loss of talented young actor Anton Yelchin!
    Lucky to have met him at TIFF, Anton came off as very relaxed and confident in himself. I enjoyed many of his films and will, of course, be seeing him alive, on screen at least, in ‘Star Trek Beyond’ on July 22nd.
    Riposare In Pace, Anton 🙏🌠

  26. Variety said he was pinned between his car and a brick mailbox, so not under it.

  27. Ken says:

    Awful news. So well cast as the young “Chekov”. Feel very bad for his family and Star Trek colleagues.

  28. David Gibson says:

    So sad, to die so young and suddenly in such a freak accident. He made an amazing Pavel Chekhov. My heart goes out to his family.

  29. Matt DiFranco says:

    I worked with Anton when he was 10 years old. Very nice kid. Heart goes out to his parents. RIP

  30. This is horrible news. I’m so sad. I love this guy. So talented. Was about to send a script to him. Very tragic.

  31. Ahsoka23 says:

    What is going on with this year? RIP :( I feel sorry for his family. This really sucks. He was so young and very talented.

  32. He probably got out to check his mailbox and forgot to put the car in park, or maybe there was a mechanical defect with his car and it slipped into neutral. Either way, that’s very sad. My heart goes out to his family.

    • Rick Anderson says:

      The car has a new kind of shifter that doesn’t work like traditional shifters. Some people have trouble adjusting to it, so it is possible if to shift to a different gear than intended.

      BUT, that is NO excuse for NOT checking the two brightly lit indicators showing exactly what gear it is in, double checking it is in park before exiting the vehicle, especially if your going to leave the vehicle running. And NOT setting the parking brake, especially if your going to get out of a running vehicle, and parked on a hill no less. And then ignoring the chimes that warn of an unsafe condition as you open the door and get out.

      The NHTSA recall is bogus, some people don’t like the shifter, that’s legit, that doesn’t make it dangerous. And there is NO way the shifter prevents someone from parking a car properly. Driver carelessness is the cause.

      Meanwhile 200 people die the same way a year in cars without this shifter. The NHTSA and media are ignoring the problem and scapegoating the manufacturers. Instead they should be promoting awareness among drivers that most of them have bad habits and are careless, they need to pay attention to what they are doing and that the chances of your car rolling away after you get out are much higher than most drivers assume. They have to start thinking about that when they are parking their car.

    • Ahsoka23 says:

      @Hotdog Blaster no that does not come off as callous. No one knows what really happened. From the report so far it sound like a freak accident. It’s just sad that he died because of it. Just another reminder that life is very short. RIP Anton. :(

    • Ahsoka23 says:

      Maybe be. Who knows? Really sad. :(

      • The investigator will find out, it’s not going to be a difficult case to close. Whether it’s the police or an investigator acting on behalf of an insurance agency; regardless, loss of a life and that of a talented artist.

        I hope that doesn’t come off as callous.

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