Anton Yelchin, a promising Hollywood star best known for his role as “Chekov” in the rebooted “Star Trek” films, is being remembered by his colleagues in the entertainment industry.
The 27-year-old died early Sunday when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down the driveway of his Los Angeles home and pinned him against a brick security fence, according to police.
The Russian native moved to California with his family as an infant. Yelchin began acting as a child in independent films and various television shows including a role in the Steven Spielberg miniseries, “Taken.” As a teen, Yelchin was cast alongside Justin Timberlake in the 2006 thriller, “Alpha Dog,” and next won the title role in “Charlie Bartlett.”
Yelchin had more than 60 acting credits, but when J.J. Abrams cast him in his 2009 “Star Trek” reboot, Yelchin reached a new level of recognition in Hollywood. The actor also starred in “Star Trek Into Darkness” in 2013, and is featured in the upcoming “Star Trek Beyond,” which is set to be released July 22. The movie is expected to be one of the biggest box office hits of the summer.
Abrams posted a handwritten note to Yelchin on Twitter after he learned of his death.
Yelchin’s “Star Trek” co-star, Zachary Quinto posted a heartfelt message to his Instagram, calling him “wise beyond his years.”
Zoe Saldana, another “Star Trek” co-star, tweeted that she was “devastated.”
The first two “Star Trek” films in the franchise grossed more than $700 million worldwide. The studio behind the series, Paramount Pictures, issued a statement on Yelchin’s death.
“All of us at Paramount join the world in mourning the untimely passing of Anton Yelchin. As a member of the Star Trek family, he was beloved by so many and he will be missed by all,” representatives for the studio said. “We share our deepest condolences with his mother, father and family.”
“Star Trek Beyond” has a premiere event at Comic-Con next month. It’s not immediately clear how Yelchin’s death will impact the publicity campaign surrounding the film’s release.