ByVaria Fedko-Blake, writer at
Staff Writer at Moviepilot! [email protected] Twitter: @vfedkoblake
Varia Fedko-Blake

As you all probably already know, this pleasant June weekend was hit with the tragic news that 27-year-old actor Anton Yelchin had been killed in a freak car accident. The remarkable star horrifically lost his life as his car rolled down his driveway on Sunday morning, pinning him against his security fence and crushing him to death at his home in the San Fernando Valley.

An exceptionally talented artist, Yelchin's passing has undoubtedly shaken Hollywood to the core, leaving grieving co-stars and friends speechless at how such a tragedy could turn lives upside down in a moment. Since the news hit, many have taken to social media to pay their respects to the brilliant Star Trek actor, adored and admired by millions of fans worldwide.

In honor of his full life and countless achievements, here's an overview of his colorful and promising career:

A bright spark from the very start

Anton Yelchin in 'Hearts in Atlantis' in 2001
Anton Yelchin in 'Hearts in Atlantis' in 2001

From an early age, Anton was a very special little boy. Just a few years after his parents' move to the United States from the Soviet Union, the Russian-born youngster's acting talent shone through in a variety of roles, including ER, Hearts in Atlantis, The Practice and of course, Curb Your Enthusiasm. Relive his early moment on camera with the short clip below, in which he shows off his acting chops like a pro:

Right from his first moments on screen, it was clear that he was always destined for great things, and his teenage years also brought a myriad of fascinating roles to challenge him further — notable roles in projects such as thriller Alpha Dog and high-school comedy Charlie Bartlett being just some of them. Indeed, by the age of 17, Anton had already accomplished more than many are able to achieve in their whole careers.

A brilliant actor at the top of his game

Yet, it was his portrayal of a young Kyle Reese in Terminator Salvation that really put his face on the Hollywood map as one of the most promising actors to watch.

Anton Yelchin in 'Terminator Salvation'
Anton Yelchin in 'Terminator Salvation'

As his career grew, Anton was offered more and more roles. He was praised for his participation in transatlantic romance Like Crazy, with the movie's director repeatedly singing his praises for being one of the most adaptable actors in the business. The young man then proved that he had what it takes to work as a voice actor in The Smurfs, before diving headlong into Jim Jarmusch's critically-acclaimed vampire project Only Lovers Left Alive in 2013.

The actor in 'Only Lovers Left Alive'
The actor in 'Only Lovers Left Alive'

Indeed, it seemed as if whatever he turned his mind to, Anton was able to fulfill with a distinguished enthusiasm for his craft. And it was his part in the new Star Trek movies that really pinpointed him as an exceptional Hollywood talent.

As mathematical genius Pavel Chekov, a role originally made famous by Walter Koenig, Anton channeled his Russian roots to bring to life one of the most beloved characters of the series. Here are some of his best moments, superbly portrayed with his trademark air of innocence and infectious humor:

Indeed, it is with a heavy heart that the industry is coming to realize that Anton's list of commendable projects has reached an abrupt end. After Star Trek: Beyond finally hits the big screens this July, and he appears posthumously, Hollywood will undoubtedly remain in ruins from the tragedy for many years to come.

In his short time with us, Yelchin accomplished so much (a whopping 40 movies in a 16 year time-span!) and although his potential has been brutally ripped away, his memory will forever evoke heartfelt affection from his fans.

Ultimately, Star Trek director J.J. Abrams put it quite aptly when he posted the following tribute about the wonderful actor, saying:

"You were brilliant. You were kind. You were funny as hell, and supremely talented. And you weren't here nearly long enough. Missing you. JJ."

Our deepest condolences to Yelchin's friends and family in this heartbreaking time.

Share your tributes to Anton Yelchin in the comments below:


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