By Travis Martin
Despite his tragic death at a young age, actor Anton Yelchin has made a significant impact from the roles he’s played within films. From his beginnings as Bobby Garfield in “Hearts of Atlantis,“ to his breakout role as Zack Mazursky “Alpha Dog,“ and finally as iconic “Star Trek” character Pavel Chekov in the 2009 reboot. Now, with “Star Trek Beyond” coming to theaters, who better to have a talent feature than this actor, who was taken too soon.
Born March 11, 1989 in Leningrad, USSR (now Saint Petersberg, Russia), Yelchin’s parents were Irina Korina and Viktor Yelchin, pair figure skaters and celebrities of the Leningrad Ice Ballet. However, Yelchin’s family was Jewish and was constantly oppressed because of this. Yelchin’s parents were able to get a refugee status and move to the US when Yelchin was 6 months old.
Yelchin began acting at the age of 9, starting with independent films “A Man is Mostly Water” and “Delivering Milo.” It wasn’t until “Along Came a Spider” with Morgan Freeman that Yelchin was getting attention, being cast in films like “Hearts of Atlantis” with Anthony Hopkins and “House of D” with Robin Williams. He soon stepped out of childhood stardom and into adulthood with his role as participating kidnapped victim Zack Mazursky in 2006’s “Alpha Dog” at the age of 17.
Yelchin then reached Hollywood mainstream by staring as young Russian navigator and prodigy Pavel Chekov in J.J. Abrams 2009 reboot of “Star Trek.” He would appear 3 more times as Chekov in 2013’s “Star Trek Into Darkness“ and this year’s “Star Trek Beyond.” Yelchin also appeared as a younger Kyle Reese that same year in “Terminator Salvation.“ He also gained critical acclaim with his turn as Jacob Helm in the romantic drama “Like Crazy” and as punk musician Pat in the suspense thriller “Green Room.“ He also did some voice work with “The Smurfs” as Clumsy Smurf.
However, this would come to an end on June 19, 2016 when, while meeting friends for a rehearsal in LA, he was found pinned between his Jeep Grand Cherokee and a brick pillar at his home. He was found dead on arrival, with police ruling out foul play. He was 27 years old. Besides “Star Trek Beyond,” he also has 4 other movies to be released: “We Don’t Belong Here,“ “Porto,“ “Rememory,“ and “Thoroughbred.“ On making movies, he had this to say: “I prefer when movies target my heart instead of my mind.”