Anton Yelchin, 'Star Trek' Actor, Dead At 27

The actor was reportedly found at his Studio City home.

20/06/2016 4:22 AM AEST | Updated 20/06/2016 7:53 AM AEST

Anton Yelchin, the actor known for his role as Chekov in the 2009 "Star Trek" reboot, has died. He was 27. 

Yelchin's publicist, Jennifer Allen, confirmed the news to The Huffington Post on Sunday.

The actor was killed Sunday morning after a freak accident involving his own car, according to TMZ. Friends found Yelchin pinned between his car and a brick mailbox at his Studio City home in Los Angeles at around 1 a.m., Deadline reported. 

LAPD said in a statement that the car had rolled backward down the steep driveway, according to Deadline. Law enforcement told TMZ that the car's engine was running when Yelchin's body was found and the car was in neutral. The police do not suspect any foul play

Pascal Le Segretain via Getty Images
Yelchin with his "Burying the Ex" co-stars Alexandra Daddario and Ashley Greene at the 71st Venice Film Festival on Sept. 4, 2014.

Yelchin was born in St. Petersburg, Russia -- then known as Leningrad, USSR -- on March 11, 1989, to figure skater parents Irina and Viktor Yelchin. Just a few months after his birth, his parents relocated their family to California after facing discrimination in the USSR for being Jewish. 

At the age of 9, Yelchin made his acting debut in an independent film called "A Man is Mostly Water" in 2000. Soon after, he scored some small roles on TV shows like "ER," "Judging Amy" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

In 2001, Yelchin appeared in his breakthrough role as Bobby Garfield in "Hearts in Atlantis" alongside Anthony Hopkins. The role earned him the award for Best Performance in a Feature Film by a leading actor at the Young Artist Awards.

Yelchin starred in the TV show "Huff" in 2004 as the son of the title character, played by Hank Azaria. The actor appeared in 2006's "Alpha Dog," a role that would become one of his most memorable. Amy Nicholson, the chief film critic for MTV News, remembered it Sunday as a "homerun performance that makes you excited to see an actor's full career.

Vince Bucci via Getty Images
Anton Yelchin with his parents, Irina and Viktor Yelchin, at the Hollywood premiere of "Alpha Dog" in 2007.

Yelchin starred in the 2007 coming-of-age film "Charlie Bartlett" as the mischievous, prescription drug-dealing title character. In 2009, he landed two major roles in big Hollywood franchises: "Star Trek" and "Terminator Salvation." Leading roles in the 2011 films "Fright Night" and "Like Crazy" followed. 

While promoting "Like Crazy," Yelchin spoke to Indiewire about his career at the Hamptons International Film Festival, where he was being honored as a "breakthrough performer." Yelchin said he considered himself "lucky" to be able to act in the roles he was given.

"The reason I say I feel lucky is because I do what I do," he said. "I think when you love something and you get the opportunity to do it, and consistently do it and be able to play different characters or great people, you feel lucky." 

The actor is listed in a number of films currently in post-production, including "Star Trek Beyond," which is set to be released this summer, and "Rememory." Yelchin was also slated to appear in the TV series adaptation of Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes, which was set to come out in 2018. 

Yelchin's "Star Trek" co-star Zachary Quinto paid tribute to the young actor on Instagram following the news of his death, calling Yelchin "one of the most open and intellectually curious people I have ever had the pleasure to know." 

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