Sad day for Trekies as ‘Star Trek’ actor Anton Yelchin, 27, is killed in his own driveway pinned between his car, metal security gate and brick pillar
Anton Yelchin played the character Chekov on Star Trek
Anton Yelchin, a film star best known for his role in the new “Star Trek” movies, died Sunday morning in a vehicle-related accident. He was 27.
The actor’s friends found him pinned between his car, a brick mailbox pillar and a security fence at his Studio City, Calif. home, the Los Angeles Police Department told the Daily News.Yelchin had been on his way to meet up with friends for a rehearsal at around 1:10 a.m. when he appeared to momentarily step out of his car. The vehicle rolled backwards down his steep driveway and crashed into him, pushing him up against the pillar and gate and providing the trauma that led to his death.
“When he didn’t show up (at the rehearsal), his friends went to his residence, where they found him deceased by his car,” LAPD spokesperson Officer Jenny Houser said. LAPD officials did not disclose the make or model of the car in the accident. Cops say it’s unclear if the vehicle was still running when Yelchin’s friends arrived.
Yelchin’s friends notified the actor’s family after discovering his body at the scene.
Yelchin began acting as a child, taking small roles in independent films and various television shows, such as “ER,” ”The Practice,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” His breakout big-screen role came opposite Anthony Hopkins in 2001’s “Hearts in Atlantis.”
He transitioned into teenage roles in films such as the crime thriller “Alpha Dog” and the teen comedy “Charlie Bartlett.” He also played a young Kyle Reese in 2009’s “Terminator Salvation.”
Yelchin, an only child, was born in Russia. His parents were professional figure skaters who moved the family to the United States when Yelchin was a baby. He briefly flirted with skating lessons, too, before discovering that he wasn’t very skilled on the ice. That led him to acting class.
His biggest claim to fame, however, was his portrayal of Chekov in the 2009 “Star Trek” reboot, as well as the 2013 sequel, “Star Trek Into Darkness.” The actor will now appear posthumously in the next installment of the sci-fi franchise, “Star Trek Beyond,” which premieres on July 22.
A slew of his “Star Trek” cast members mourned the actor after reports of his death surfaced, including actor Zachary Quinto, who posted a heartfelt tribute to Yelchin on Instagram.
“Our dear friend. Our comrade. Our anton,” Quinto wrote. “One of the most open and intellectually curious people i have ever had the pleasure to know. So enormously talented and generous of heart.”
John Cho, another colleague in the space adventure series, echoed these sentiments, writing he was “in ruins” after learning of his friend’s sudden passing.
“I loved Anton Yelchin so much,” John Cho wrote. “He was a true artist — curious, beautiful, courageous,” he wrote. “He was a great pal and a great son. I’m in ruins.”
And J.J. Abrams, who directed the first two “Star Trek” movies, shared an emotional handwritten note for the actor on his production studio Bad Robot’s Twitter account.
“Anton – You were brilliant,” he wrote. “You were kind. You were funny as hell, and supremely talented. And you weren’t here nearly long enough. Missing you.”
In the Star Trek series appearing in the character of the heavily accented navigator Chekov, he was able to draw on his Russian roots. The third film in the series, “Star Trek Beyond,” comes out in July.
“What’s great about him is he can do anything. He’s a chameleon. He can do bigger movies or smaller, more intimate ones,” ”Like Crazy” director Drake Doremus told the AP in 2011. “There are a lot of people who can’t, who can only do one or the other. … That’s what blows my mind.”