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Anton Yelchin

Anton Yelchin

Anton Viktorovich Yelchin (Russian: Анто́н Ви́кторович Е́льчин, IPA: [ɐnˈton ˈjelʲtɕɪn]}; March 11, 1989 – June 19, 2016) was an American-Russian actor. He played Pavel Chekov in three Star Trek films: Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and the posthumously released Star Trek Beyond (2016). Born to a Russian Jewish family in Leningrad, Yelchin and his family moved to the United States when he was a baby. In the late 1990s, Yelchin began appearing in television and film roles. His role in Steven Spielberg's miniseries Taken helped further his career.[1] Yelchin also starred in Huff, the films Hearts in Atlantis, Alpha Dog, Like Crazy, Green Room and the posthumously released Trollhunters.

Anton Yelchin
Native name
Антон Викторович Ельчин
Born(1989-03-11)March 11, 1989
DiedJune 19, 2016(2016-06-19)(aged 27)
Studio City, California, U.S.
Cause of deathBlunt traumatic asphyxia
Resting placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
Years active2000–2016
RelativesEugene Yelchin (uncle)
Websiteantonyelchinfoundation.org [50]antonyelchinofficial.com [51]

Early life

Anton Viktorovich Yelchin was born on March 11, 1989, in Leningrad, Russian SFSR (now Saint Petersburg, Russia).[2][3] His parents, Irina Korina and Viktor Yelchin, were pair figure skaters who were stars of the Leningrad Ice Ballet for 15 years.[4][5] His family is Jewish and were subjected to religious and political oppression in the Soviet Union.[4][6][7] Yelchin had said that his grandparents "suffered in ways [he] can't even begin to understand under Stalin".[7] Nationally, Yelchin's parents were the third-ranked pair team; they thus qualified for the 1972 Winter Olympics, but were not permitted to participate by the Soviet authorities.[4][5] Yelchin had said the reason was unclear: "I don't exactly know what that was – because they were Jewish or because the KGB didn't want them to travel."[8]

Yelchin's family fled to the United States in September 1989, when Anton was six months old, and were thereafter granted refugee status from the Department of State.[4][5] His mother worked as a figure skating choreographer and his father as a figure skating coach, having been Sasha Cohen's first trainer.[9][10] Yelchin's uncle is the children's author and painter Eugene Yelchin.[4] In an article published in the Los Angeles Times in December 1989, Yelchin's mother stated, "A woman came up, saw Anton, and said, 'He's beautiful. He will be actor.'"[4] Yelchin had stated that he "wasn't very good" at figure skating, his parents' profession.[11] Yelchin was born with cystic fibrosis. However, details of his medical condition were only revealed in 2017 after his death by a foundation established in his name, the Anton Yelchin Foundation.[12][13] Yelchin attended the Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies in Tarzana, California,[9] and enrolled at the University of Southern California in the fall of 2007 to study film.[14]


Yelchin in September 2011

Yelchin in September 2011

After his film debut in A Man Is Mostly Water, Yelchin's early roles in both film and television included A Time for Dancing,[1] Delivering Milo, House of D and Taken. He guest-starred in the Season Four episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm as Stewart, Cheryl David's cousin and a self-described magician who knows a card trick. Yelchin played Bobby Garfield in Hearts in Atlantis (2001), which is based on Stephen King's novel. He won a 2002 Young Artist Award (Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actor) for this performance.

In Showtime's television series Huff, Yelchin played Byrd Huffstodt, the 14-year-old son of the eponymous character (Hank Azaria). In 2006, he guest-starred in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Tru Love", as a boy who falls in love with his teacher. He also appeared in the Criminal Minds episode "Sex, Birth & Death" as Nathan Harris, a boy who has murderous urges towards prostitutes and approaches Dr. Spencer Reid to help him before he actually does kill.

In Alpha Dog, Yelchin played Zack Mazursky, a character based on real-life murder victim Nicholas Markowitz.[9] USA Today's review described Yelchin's performance as "heartbreakingly endearing".[15] After the film's premiere, Markowitz's mother praised his portrayal of her son.[16] Yelchin subsequently headlined Fierce People, which received a limited release on September 7, 2007. In 2008, he played the title role in Charlie Bartlett, a film about a wealthy teenager in a public high school.[17] He also appeared alongside the Russian duo t.A.T.u. in the film You and I (which was filmed in Moscow during the summer of 2007),[18] and co-starred in Middle of Nowhere.

Yelchin played supporting roles in two blockbuster films released in May 2009: Star Trek, in which he played teenage navigator Pavel Chekov, and Terminator Salvation, in which he played a young Kyle Reese.[19][20]

In 2011, Yelchin played Charley Brewster in Craig Gillespie's remake film Fright Night,[21] starred in the romantic drama Like Crazy, and voiced Clumsy Smurf in the film adaptation of The Smurfs and its sequel.[22][23] He replaced Russell Tovey for the voice role of Albino Pirate in the American version of the animated film The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (also known as The Pirates! Band of Misfits) (2012).[24][25] Yelchin voiced Shun in Studio Ghibli's From Up on Poppy Hill.

Yelchin again played the role of Chekov in the 2013 film Star Trek Into Darkness. He also played the lead in the thriller Odd Thomas (2013)[26] and the horror comedy Burying the Ex (2014). In 2015, Yelchin starred in the independent horror film Green Room, which premiered at the Cannes film festival that year and received limited theatrical release in May 2016.

Shortly before his death, Yelchin reprised his role as Chekov in Star Trek Beyond, which was released on July 22, 2016. He completed filming several independent films which were released posthumously.[27] Yelchin also recorded the voice role of Jim in Guillermo del Toro's Trollhunters.[28][29]

Personal life

Yelchin enjoyed playing the guitar, which he said gave him a lot of fulfillment, and was a fan of acoustic blues music. He once played for a punk band called the Hammerheads.[6][30] He was also interested in photography. In January 2018, an exhibit of Yelchin's photography entitled Anton Yelchin: Provocative Beauty was displayed at New York City's De Buck Gallery.[31]


On June 19, 2016, Yelchin was found pinned between his Jeep Grand Cherokee and a brick pillar outside his house in Studio City, California, the victim of what was described as a "freak accident".[32][33] As Yelchin got out of his car, the vehicle apparently rolled back down his driveway, which was on a steep incline, and trapped him against the pillar and a security fence.[34] The Los Angeles County Coroner's office identified the cause of death as "blunt traumatic asphyxia" and stated that there were "no obvious suspicious circumstances involved".[35][36] He died at the age of 27.


Yelchin's grave at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on March 26, 2017

Yelchin's grave at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on March 26, 2017

Following Yelchin's death, the producers of Star Trek stated that the role of Chekov would not be recast and that the character would be written out of any subsequent Star Trek films. Star Trek Beyond was dedicated to Yelchin and Leonard Nimoy, who had also died between the release of Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond. Smurfs: The Lost Village was dedicated to Yelchin, as he had provided the voice of Clumsy Smurf in the live-action Smurfs films. Additionally, We Don't Belong Here, Rememory, Porto, Newness, Thoroughbreds, and the first two episodes of Trollhunters are dedicated to him, with the entirety of Trollhunters being dedicated to him upon its conclusion in May 2018. Yelchin was also featured in the "In Memoriam" section during the 89th Academy Awards.[37]

In October 2017, a bronze statue of Yelchin was erected at his grave in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Celebrities present at the unveiling ceremony included Jennifer Lawrence, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, J. J. Abrams, Emile Hirsch, Demi Moore, Jon Voight, Drake Doremus, and Jeremy Saulnier. Saldana spoke at the ceremony, paying tribute to Yelchin: "It is a bittersweet moment, because we're here for Anton, and he's not here with us. But, it alleviates my heart knowing that we'll keep him alive. We're going to keep remembering him in the hopes that by practicing all the things he believed in and remembering all the love that he gave us, and all the joy he gave us, we're able to just keep him here with us."[38][39]

On January 28, 2019, Viktor and Irina Yelchin premiered a documentary about their son, Love, Antosha, at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.[40]


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the manufacturer of the Grand Cherokee, was aware of 2014 and 2015 models having a high rate of rollaway incidents due to a gearshift design that could make it difficult for the driver to determine whether the vehicle was in park or still in gear. FCA had already recalled all 2014-15 Grand Cherokees for this concern in April 2016, but the software patch to repair the vehicles did not reach dealers until the week of Yelchin's death. Following his death, FCA accelerated the recall campaign and took steps to get the affected Jeeps repaired more quickly than originally planned.[41]

On August 1, 2016, the attorney for Yelchin's parents announced that they were planning to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler.[42] The dealership that Yelchin purchased the vehicle from stated that he was responsible for his own death, because he had allegedly "misused" and "modified" the vehicle. The dealer also asked to be removed from the lawsuit.[43]

On March 22, 2018, it was announced that Yelchin's family and Fiat Chrysler had confidentially settled the lawsuit.[44]



2000A Man Is Mostly WaterAugie
2001Delivering MiloMilo
15 MinutesBoy in Burning Building
Along Came a SpiderDimitri Starodubov
Hearts in AtlantisBobby Garfield
2002A Time for DancingJackson
Rooftop KissesCharlie
2004House of DTommy Warshaw
2005Fierce PeopleFinn Earl
2006Alpha DogZack Mazursky
2007Charlie BartlettCharlie Bartlett
2008New York, I Love YouBoy in the ParkSegment: "Brett Ratner"
Middle of NowhereDorian Spitz
2009Star TrekPavel Chekov
Terminator SalvationKyle Reese
2010Memoirs of a Teenage AmnesiacAce Zuckerman
2011Like CrazyJacob Helm
You and IEdvard Nikitin
The BeaverPorter Black
From Up on Poppy HillShun KazamaVoice (English dub)
The SmurfsClumsy SmurfVoice
The Smurfs: A Christmas CarolClumsy SmurfShort film; Voice
Fright NightCharley Brewster
2012The Pirates! In an Adventure with ScientistsAlbino pirateVoice (American dub)
2013Movie 43Necrophiliac worker at morgueDeleted scene
Odd ThomasOdd Thomas
Star Trek Into DarknessPavel Chekov
Only Lovers Left AliveIan
The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy HollowClumsy SmurfShort film; Voice
The Smurfs 2Clumsy SmurfVoice
5 to 7Brian Bloom
The ApprenticeWayneShort
Burying the ExMax
Dying of the LightMilton Schultz
2015Court of ConscienceFather JamesShort
Kiss Kiss FingerbangDr. Jack StewartShort
Broken HorsesJacob Heckum
The Driftless AreaPierre
Green RoomPat
Star Trek BeyondPavel ChekovPosthumous release
PortoJake Kleeman
We Don't Belong HereMaxwell Green
2019Love, AntoshaHimself (archived footage)


2000ERRobbie EdelsteinEpisode: "Be Still My Heart"
GeppettoFeaturedTelevision film
2002Judging AmyDavis BishopEpisode: "The Justice League of America"
TakenJacob Clarke – Child2 episodes
The PracticeJustin Langer2 episodes
2003Without a TraceJohnny AtkinsEpisode: "The Bus"
2004Curb Your EnthusiasmStewartEpisode: "The Blind Date"
NYPD BlueEvan GrabberEpisode: "Take My Wife, Please"
JackJackTelevision film
2004–2006HuffByrd Huffstodt25 episodes
2006Law & Order: Criminal IntentKeith TylerEpisode: "Tru Love"
Criminal MindsNathan HarrisEpisode: "Sex, Birth, Death"
2011The Life & Times of TimTrentVoice role; episode: "The Caddy's Shack/The Sausage Salesman"
2015–2016SuperMansionDudleyVoice role; 2 episodes
2016–2018Trollhunters: Tales of ArcadiaJimVoice role; 39 episodes; posthumous release

Video games

YearTitleVoice role
2013Star TrekPavel Chekov
The Smurfs 2Clumsy Smurf


YearAwardCategoryTitle of workResult
2002Phoenix Film Critics AwardBest Youth PerformanceHearts in AtlantisNominated
2002Young Artist AwardBest Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young ActorHearts in AtlantisWon
2003Young Artist AwardBest Performance in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Special – Supporting Young ActorTakenNominated
2005Young Artist AwardBest Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special – Leading Young ActorJackNominated
2009Boston Society of Film Critics AwardsBest Ensemble CastStar TrekWon
2009Washington DC Area Film Critics Association AwardsBest EnsembleStar TrekNominated
2010Broadcast Film Critics Association AwardsBest Acting EnsembleStar TrekNominated


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