The entertainment community is in mourning once again today, as a young actor passed away far too soon. Anton Yelchin, who plays Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek movies, including next month's Star Trek Beyond, has passed away at the age of 27. While details are still coming in, the actor appears to have died from a freak car accident.
Deadline reports that the actor was found by his friends early this morning, pinned by his car against a brick mailbox and security gate, apparently crushed to death by his own vehicle. No foul play is suspected in this car accident, although no further details were given. Here's what the actor's publicist Jennifer Allan had to say in a brief statement.
"Actor Anton Yelchin was killed in a fatal traffic collision early this morning. His family requests you respect their privacy at this time."
TMZ reveals that the actor's friends became alarmed because he was supposed to meet them for a rehearsal several hours earlier. They went to Anton Yelchin's home in the San Fernando Valley home at around 1 AM and found him pinned between his car and a brick mailbox. Law enforcement officials revealed that the car's engine was still running and it was in neutral. It isn't clear why the actor got out of his car, but this report also reveals that the actor's driveway was on a fairly steep incline.
Anton Yelchin was born on March 11, 1989 to Irina Korina and Viktor Yelchin, a pair of successful figure skaters, but he emigrated to the United States when he was just six months old. He made his acting debut at just 10 years of age on an episode of NBC's ER, and he never stopped working since then. In 2001, he had roles in Delivering Milo, 15 Minutes and Hearts in Atlantis, and in 2004, he landed the role of Byrd Huffstodt on the Showtime series Huff, which ran for two seasons.
He started to make his mark on the big screen after Huff went off the air with Alpha Dog and portraying the title character in Charlie Bartlett, but his career really took off when he was cast as Chekov in director J.J. Abrams' reboot of Star Trek, a role he reprised in the 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness and next month's Star Trek Beyond. Other notable roles include Terminator Salvation, Like Crazy, The Beaver, Fright Night, The Smurfs, Odd Thomas, Only Lovers Left Alive, Rudderless, Cymbeline, The Driftless Area and this year's Green Room. We'll be sure to keep you posted with more about this tragic death as soon as more details come in.