Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin dies
Anton Yelchin, a rising actor best known for his role as Chekov in the new Star Trek films, has been killed in a freak car accident at age 27.
June 20, 2016 – 6:49AM
Anton Yelchin, the 27-year-old actor best known for playing the character Chekov in two Star Trek movies, was killed early on Sunday when his car rolled and pinned him against a wall in his driveway, police said.
Russian-born Yelchin died shortly after 1am when he apparently stepped out of his car in the steep driveway of his Los Angeles home and it rolled backwards, said Jenny Houser, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department.
“The car pinned him against a brick wall and a security fence and that trauma led to his death,” Houser said.
Anton Yelchin has died at the age of 27. Photo: Domenico Stinellis
Yelchin was due at a rehearsal later on Sunday and when he did not show up friends went to his house and found him dead. No foul play was suspected but the accident is under investigation.
Yelchin’s death sparked an emotional response on Twitter from many of those who knew him, professionally or personally.
Captain America star Chris Evans wrote that Yelchin was “thoughtful, kind and gifted”.
Alia Shawkat and Anton Yelchin in Green Room. Photo: Supplied
Devastated to hear about the brilliant Anton Yelchin. He was thoughtful, kind, and gifted. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans)
June 19, 2016
Vinyl star Olivia Wilde wrote: “Anton Yelchin was a bright, brilliant talent, and a truly kind person. I was so taken by him, and won’t ever forget his sweet smile. RIP.”
Anton Yelchin, left, in Star Trek.
Yelchin was best known for playing the young crewman Pavel Chekov in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek reboot in 2009, a role he reprised in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, which is set to open in Australia on July 21.
Justin Lin, who directed Yelchin in his forthcoming third Star Trek movie, tweeted: “Still in shock. Rest in peace, Anton. Your passion and enthusiasm will live on with everyone that had the pleasure of knowing you.”
The actor John Cho, who has played Lieutenant Sulu in the three “new” Star Trek movies, 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.”
Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock in the movies, wrote on Instagram that Yelchin was “one of the most open and intellectually curious people I have ever known”.
Yelchin was born in Russia, the son of two figure skaters who emigrated to the United States when he was six months old. His family was Jewish, and experienced a degree of persecution in the former Soviet Union despite their fame as lead skaters with the Leningrad Ice Ballet.
He began acting at nine and was a prolific performer, with imdb listing 65 credits since his television acting debut on an episode of ER in 2000.
Early in his film career as a teenager, Yelchin gained wide attention when he appeared with Anthony Hopkins in Hearts in Atlantis in 2001 and with Robin Williams in The House of D in 2004.
On the small screen he was the son of psychiatrist Dr Craig “Huff” Hufstodt (Hank Azaria) on the TV series Huff between 2004 and 2006, and played Jacob Clarke in the Steven Spielberg miniseries Taken (2002).
Azaria, who starred in Huff, said on Twitter he was devastated. “He was a very sweet kid. My heart goes out to his family.”
Yelchin played Kyle Reese in Terminator: Salvation (2009) and starred alongside Mia Wasikowska, Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in Jim Jarmusch’s rock ‘n’roll vampire tale Only Lovers Left Alive in 2013.
Yelchin was also a budding musician, with the emphasis on budding. In 2014, he told an interviewer “I had never called myself a musician, but I can mess around on the guitar”.
Yelchin had a punk band of his own in real life, The Hammerheads, who were active until at least 2009.
In William H Macy’s feature directing debut Rudderless (2014), Yelchin played guitar and sang alongside Billy Crudup in a tale about a father (Crudup) who discovers his murdered teenage son had recorded a bunch of demos, and sets out to play them live as a way of dealing with his grief.
Yelchin was most recently seen in Australian cinemas in the indie flick Green Room, about a punk band held captive in a remote venue in the woods by a gang of right-wing skinheads. He played on some of the songs in the film performed by his screen band, The Ain’t Rights.
With Reuters, agencies