Anton Viktorovich Yelchin was an American actor who portrayed the character of ‘Pavel Chekov’ in three movies of ‘Star Trek’ film series, ‘Star Trek’, ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’, and ‘Star Trek Beyond’ (released posthumously). Yelchin first grabbed the attention of the audience after he appeared in the legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s science fiction miniseries ‘Taken’ as ‘Jacob Clarke’ in just two episodes. Even though he died at a young age, he left behind a resume with numerous acting credits to his name, in both TV productions and films. He won the Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actor award at the 2002 Young Artist Awards for his work in the mystery drama film ‘Hearts in Atlantis’. He also played important roles in films like ‘Alpha Dog’, ‘Terminator Salvation’, ‘Green Room’, and ‘Rememory’. He had appeared in several television shows, portraying ‘Byrd Huffstodt’ in ‘Huff’ and making guest appearances in ‘ER’, ‘Judging Amy’, ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’, and ‘Criminal Minds’. He died in a freak accident at the young age of 27.
Anton Yelchin started his career as an eleven-year-old child artiste in films like ‘A Man Is Mostly Water’ and ‘Delivering Milo’ in 2000. He also appeared in the fictional television show ‘ER’ and the television film ‘Geppetto’ in the same year. In the ensuing years, he appeared in popular films like ‘15 Minutes’ and ‘Along Came a Spider’ which gave him the opportunity to work alongside the likes of superstars Robert De Niro and Morgan Freeman. He then portrayed the character of ‘Bobby Garfield’ in the 2001 Australian mystery drama film ‘Hearts in Atlantis’. The role earned him a Young Artist Award for the Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actor.
In 2002, Yelchin was chosen for the role of ‘Jacob Clarke’ in Steven Spielberg’s science fiction miniseries ‘Taken’. This gave him a good platform to showcase his talent to a wider audience. He was nominated at the Young Artist Awards for the ‘Best Performance in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Special – Supporting Young Actor’. Yelchin picked up the role of ‘Byrd Huffstodt’ in Sony Pictures Television’s series ‘Huff’. He appeared in 25 episodes between 2004 and 2006 in that role. Later, he appeared in special roles in popular television shows like ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’ (episode: ‘Tru Love’) and ‘Criminal Minds’ (episode: ‘Sex, Birth, Death’).
Yelchin appeared in the crime thriller film ‘Alpha Dog’ (2006), which was based on the true story of Nicholas Markowitz’s kidnapping and murder. He portrayed the role of ‘Zack Mazursky’ and was part of a cast that had artistes like Emile Hirsch, Justin Timberlake, Sharon Stone, Bruce Willis, Olivia Wilde, and Ben Foster. He portrayed the young ‘Kyle Reese’ in ‘Terminator Salvation’ (2009), the fourth installment of the ‘Terminator’ film series.
His biggest break came in 2009 when he was picked for the role of ‘Pavel Chekov’ in the ‘Star Trek’ film series. Yelchin was signed to play the recurring role in all the upcoming ‘Star Trek’ films and he appeared in the 2009 production of the film, ‘Star Trek,’ as well as in the 2013 installment of the series, titled ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’. He received the Boston Society of Film Critics Awards for the Best Ensemble Cast in 2009. Prior to his death, Yelchin had completed shooting for the film ‘Star Trek Beyond,’ which was released posthumously in 2016.
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Family & Personal Life
Anton Viktorovich Yelchin was born in Leningrad (currently Saint Petersburg, Russia), Soviet Union, on March 11, 1989, to Irina Korina and Viktor Yelchin. His parents, who were celebrity pair figure skaters for the Leningrad Ice Ballet, fled to the United States in 1989 with Yelchin, who was just six months old. They had been subjected to political and religious oppression in their homeland, probably due to their Jewish background, and were denied participation in the 1972 Winter Olympics in Japan, despite qualifying for the event.
Anton Yelchin studied at the Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies in Tarzana, California, before joining the University of Southern California to study film in 2007.
Yelchin was discovered stuck between his Jeep Grand Cherokee and a brick pillar just outside his house on June 19, 2016 in what appeared to be a freak accident. He was pronounced dead later that day and the cause of his death was determined to be “blunt traumatic asphyxia” by the Los Angeles County coroner's office. His family later filed a lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the manufacturer of his vehicle, as the exact model of the motor vehicle already had issues of rollaway. It was believed the Anton Yelchin, like many other Jeep Grand Cherokee drivers, couldn’t determine whether he had left the car in the park mode or if it was still in gear due to the complex gearshift design. This probably caused confusion and the car rolled down and stamped him against the brick pillar and a security fence. His family and the company later settled the case confidentially.