After a freak accident last June 19, Hollywood lost an immensely talented actor and genuine character, Anton Yelchin. He was best known for his starring role as Pavel Chekov in the iconic film adaption, “Star Trek”.
Confirming the tragic news of Anton Yelchin’s death, his publicist Jennifer Allen said in a statement to Mirror Celeb: “Actor Anton Yelchin was killed in a fatal traffic collision early this morning. His family requests you respect their privacy at this time.”
A report by TMZ stated that his friends became alarmed when the 27-year old actor didn’t show up for rehearsals. Mirror reports: “They visited his San Fernando Valley home around 1am to check on him and found him pinned between his car and a brick mailbox which was attached to a security gate.”
An Actor Well Loved and Respected
After the shocking sad news, many celebrities took to social media to express their condolences. “Devastated to hear about the brilliant Anton Yelchin. He was thoughtful, kind, and gifted. My thoughts and prayers are with his family,” posted actor Chris Evans.
“Anton, you were brilliant. You were kind. You were funny as hell, and supremely talented. And you weren’t here nearly long enough. Missing you…,” wrote director and Star Trek producer, J.J Abrams.
“RIP Anton Yelchin. I had the pleasure of meeting this gifted young man on the set of House of D. Such a loss. Condolences to friends/family,” Orlando Jones tweeted. “Anton was a sweetheart. Absolutely a great creative partner and artist,” Guillermo del Toro also tweeted.
Actresses Olivia Wilde, Ana Kendrick, Milla Jovovich and plenty more wrote in tribute of the well-loved and hardworking actor. Truly, to say that he was respected and a great loss to the industry is an understatement.
From Ballet to Acting Stardom
Yelchin didn’t have his eyes set on Hollywood when he was young. Born in Saint Petersburg (then Leningrad) to Irina Korina and Viktor Yelchin, figure skaters who had been stars of the Leningrad Ice Ballet, he was educated at the Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies in Los Angeles, and later studied film at the University of Southern California.
After finding out that his destiny was far along the lines of skating, his parents enrolled him in acting classes at a tender age of nine. He quickly landed roles in television and film. Notable early TV appearances included ER, Curb Your Enthusiasm and the alien abduction series, Taken. Young as he was, he instantly commanded attention and the world audience knew that Yelchin was a name to watch out for.
Turning 11, Yelchin decided to take on higher ground and made his film debut in the 2011 film, Hearts in Atlantis, a film adaptation from a Stephen King story, where he played a young boy who befriends a neighbor (Anthony Hopkins) with mysterious powers.
At 14, the actor started a two-year stint on the TV series Huff as the prematurely wise son of a psychiatrist (Hank Azaria). Upon the finale of Huff, Yelchin decided to concentrate more on film. The Guardian wrote: “He played a real-life kidnap victim in Alpha Dog (2006) and provided valuable moments of warmth in a film populated largely by strutting, goggle-eyed method actors. His considerable charisma fuelled the teen comedy Charlie Bartlett (2007), in which he played the title character – a privileged student who becomes an unofficial guru to his new classmates in the US public school system.”
Following the success of Star Trek, Yelchin went on to star in another revamped sci-fi film, this time in Terminator: Salvation (2009). The movie was ravaged into pieces after controversy surrounding co-star Christian Bale. However, Yelchin proved that he truly was an actor that deserved his stature. Since then, he remained a constant subject of interest, without finding himself falling for the boxed-up Hollywood stereotypical roles and usual gimmicks.
Likeable Beyond Status Quo
The death of Anton Yelchin came too soon and all too sudden. However, his life in the spotlight was well lived, proving each time he is more than just another actor who was trying to make it big and leave a stamp as another leading man. He went beyond the unconventional, constantly challenged himself in a plethora of roles and characters.
Even if he was working in the world’s largest stage, Yelchin was well aware of every step he was taking. In a previous interview, he said: “There’s only a handful of people I trust completely, and I know who they are,” he said in 2011. “Other than that, I pretty much don’t trust people. The film industry itself – the ‘industry’ and business side of it – just sucks and is really demoralising, so it’s added to my general paranoia.”
Anton Yelchin is survived by his parents.