Anton Yelchin, a charismatic actor who was best known for playing Chekov in the new Star Trek films, was killed in a fatal traffic collision early Sunday morning outside of his home his publicst, Jennifer Allen, has confirmed. He was 27.
The star, who failed to show up at a rehearsal on Saturday night, was discovered by friends pinned between his car and a brick mailbox that was connected to a security gate that lead up to his home. The car was running and in neutral at the time his body was discovered, and though there is no suspension of foul play, authorities are unsure as to why the actor exited his car.
Born to Russian figure skaters who relocated to the USA when he was only six months old, Yelchin was always destined for the spotlight. His professional acting career began when he was nine as he made appearances in TV series like ER, Judging Amy, Curb Your Enthusasum and NYPD Blue. But it wasn’t until a regular role opposite Hank Azaria in Showtime’s Huff that Yelchin's career began to take off.
Yelchin continued to build on his resume, gaining both audience and critical acclaim for his work in the 2006 thriller Alpha Dog (opposite Justin Timberlake and Amanda Syfried) and the 2007 dark comedy Charlie Bartlett (opposite Hope Davis and Robert Downey, Jr.). Roles in independent features Like Crazy, The Beaver and Middle of Nowhere continued to display his craft; however, it would be 2009’s turn as Chekov in the J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot that would gain the actor mainstream notoriety.
This past summer Yelchin blew audiences away with A24 Films’ indie horror hit Green Room, which pitted the late star against a dark and ruthless Patrick Stewart. While he has several projects listed “in production”, Star Trek Beyond will be the first to hit the screen after his passing. The third film in the sci-fi reboot franchise is set to be released in late July.