Anton Viktorovich Yelchin[a] (March 11, 1989 – June 19, 2016) was an American actor. He was best known as Pavel Chekov in three Star Trek films: the first film, Star Trek (2009); the first sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness (2013); and the posthumously released Star Trek Beyond (2016). He was also known for his work in independent cinema.

Born to a Russian Jewish family in Leningrad, Yelchin relocated to the United States, where he began performing in the late 1990s, appearing in several television and film roles, and receiving recognition for Hearts in Atlantis (2001). His role as Jacob Clarke in Steven Spielberg's miniseries Taken was significant in furthering his career as a child actor.[1] He starred in multiple television series, including Huff and the posthumously released Trollhunters.

Early life

Yelchin was born March 11, 1989, in Leningrad, Soviet Union (now Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation).[2][3] His parents, Irina Korina and Viktor Yelchin, were pair figure skaters, who were celebrities and stars of the Leningrad Ice Ballet for fifteen years.[4][5] His family is Jewish; in the USSR, they were subjected to religious and political oppression.[4][6][7] Yelchin had said: "My grandparents suffered in ways I 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 moved to the United States in September 1989, when Anton was six months old, after receiving refugee status from the United States Department of State.[4][5] Yelchin's 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 at the Deauville American Film Festival in September 2011

After his film debut 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, knowing a card trick. His biggest film recognition came for the role of Bobby Garfield in Hearts in Atlantis (2001), in which he won Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actor at the 2002 Young Artist Awards.

In Showtime's television series Huff, he 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 the death of Nicholas Markowitz.[9] USA Today's review described the performance as "heartbreakingly endearing".[12] After the premiere, Markowitz's mother praised his portrayal of her son.[13] 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.[14] 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),[15] and co-starred with Susan Sarandon and Justin Chatwin in Middle of Nowhere. He starred in two films released in May 2009, including the eleventh Star Trek film as teenage navigator Pavel Chekov and Kyle Reese in Terminator Salvation.[16][17]

In 2011, Yelchin played Charley Brewster in Craig Gillespie's remake film Fright Night,[18] starred in the romantic drama Like Crazy, and voiced Clumsy Smurf in the film adaptation of The Smurfs and its sequel.[19][20] 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).[21][22] Yelchin voiced Shun in Studio Ghibli's From Up on Poppy Hill.

He reprised his role for Chekov in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and played the lead in the thriller Odd Thomas (2013)[23] and the horror comedy Burying the Ex (2014). In 2015, he 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 had reprised his role as Chekov in Star Trek Beyond, which was released on July 22, 2016. He also completed filming several independent films which released posthumously.[24] He recorded the voice role of Jim in Guillermo del Toro's Trollhunters.[25][26] His last film was Thoroughbreds, released in March 9, 2018.

Personal life

Yelchin once played for the disbanded punk band the Hammerheads.[6][27] He enjoyed playing the guitar, saying that it gave him "a lot of fulfillment," and was a fan of acoustic blues music.

Yelchin was born with the genetic condition cystic fibrosis. Details of Yelchin's medical condition were only revealed following his death by a foundation established in his name.[28]

He attended the Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies in Tarzana, California,[9] and enrolled at the University of Southern California in fall 2007 to study film.[29]


On June 19, 2016, at about 1 AM, friends found Yelchin's body pinned between his Jeep Grand Cherokee and a brick pillar outside his home in Studio City, California, in what was described as a "freak accident".[30] Yelchin exited his car while in his driveway, which is on a steep incline, when it rolled back and trapped him against the pillar and a security fence.[31] He was pronounced dead later that day.[32] The Jeep crushed his lungs, and he is believed to have died within a minute of impact.[33]

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".[34]


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

The producers of Star Trek said the role of Chekov would not be recast and the character would be written out of any subsequent films. Star Trek Beyond was dedicated to Yelchin.

Smurfs: The Lost Village was dedicated to him, as he had provided the voice of Clumsy Smurf in the live-action Smurfs films.[35] Additionally, We Don't Belong Here, Rememory, Porto, Newness, Thoroughbreds, and the first two episodes of Trollhunters are dedicated to him.

He was also featured in the "In Memoriam" section during the 89th Academy Awards.[36]

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."[37][38][39]


The vehicle involved was among some Fiat Chrysler models under a recall notice for transmission errors leading to unintended rolling and while the initial recall had begun before Yelchin's death, no affected vehicles had yet been repaired.[citation needed]

On August 1, 2016, the attorney of Yelchin's parents announced that they were planning to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler.[40] The dealership Yelchin purchased the vehicle from claimed he was responsible for his own death, because he had "misused" and "modified" the vehicle. The dealer also asked to be removed from the lawsuit.[41]



Year Title Role Notes
2000 A Man Is Mostly Water Augie
2001 Delivering Milo Milo
15 Minutes Boy in Burning Building
Along Came a Spider Dimitri Starodubov
Hearts in Atlantis Bobby Garfield
2002 A Time for Dancing Jackson
Rooftop Kisses Charlie
2004 House of D Tommy Warshaw
2005 Fierce People Finn Earl
2006 Alpha Dog Zack Mazursky
2007 Charlie Bartlett Charlie Bartlett
2008 Middle of Nowhere Dorian Spitz
New York, I Love You Boy in the Park Segment: "Brett Ratner"
2009 Star Trek Pavel Chekov
Terminator Salvation Kyle Reese
2010 Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac Ace Zuckerman
2011 Like Crazy Jacob Helm
You and I Edvard Nikitin
The Beaver Porter Black
From Up on Poppy Hill Shun Kazama (voice) English version
The Smurfs Clumsy Smurf (voice)
The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol Clumsy Smurf (voice) Short film
Fright Night Charley Brewster
2012 The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists Albino pirate (voice) American dub
2013 Movie 43 Necrophiliac worker at morgue (scene deleted)
Odd Thomas Odd Thomas
Star Trek Into Darkness Pavel Chekov
Only Lovers Left Alive Ian
The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow Clumsy Smurf (voice) Short film
The Smurfs 2 Clumsy Smurf Voice
2014 Rudderless Quentin
5 to 7 Brian Bloom
The Apprentice Wayne Short film
Cymbeline Cloten
Burying the Ex Max
Dying of the Light Milton Schultz
2015 Court of Conscience Father James Short film
Experimenter Rensaleer
Kiss Kiss Fingerbang Dr. Jack Stewart Short film
Broken Horses Jacob Heckum
The Driftless Area Pierre
Green Room Pat
Unity[42] Narrator Documentary
2016 Rise Basil Short film
Star Trek Beyond Pavel Chekov Posthumous release
Porto Jake Kleeman Posthumous release
2017 Rememory Todd Posthumous release
Thoroughbreds Tim Posthumous release
We Don't Belong Here Maxwell Green Posthumous release


Year Title Role Notes
2000 ER Robbie Edelstein Episode: "Be Still My Heart"
Geppetto Featured Television film
2002 Judging Amy Davis Bishop Episode: "The Justice League of America"
Taken Jacob Clarke – Child 2 episodes
The Practice Justin Langer 2 episodes
2003 Without a Trace Johnny Atkins Episode: "The Bus"
2004 Curb Your Enthusiasm Stewart Episode: "The Blind Date"
NYPD Blue Evan Grabber Episode: "Take My Wife, Please"
Jack Jack Television film
2004–2006 Huff Byrd Huffstodt 25 episodes
2006 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Keith Tyler Episode: "Tru Love"
Criminal Minds Nathan Harris Episode: "Sex, Birth, Death"
2011 The Life & Times of Tim Trent (voice) Episode: "The Caddy's Shack/The Sausage Salesman"
2015–2016 SuperMansion Dudley (voice) 2 episodes
2016–2017 Trollhunters Jim (voice) 39 episodes; posthumous release

Video games

Year Title Role
2013 Star Trek Pavel Chekov (voice)
The Smurfs 2 Clumsy Smurf (voice)


Year Award Category Title of work Medium Result
2002 Phoenix Film Critics Award Best Youth Performance Hearts in Atlantis Film Nominated
2002 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actor Hearts in Atlantis Film Won
2003 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Special – Supporting Young Actor Taken Television Nominated
2005 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special – Leading Young Actor Jack Television Nominated
2009 Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best Ensemble Cast Star Trek Film Won
2009 Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards Best Ensemble Star Trek Film Nominated
2010 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Acting Ensemble Star Trek Film Nominated


  1. ^ Russian: Анто́н Ви́кторович Е́льчин, IPA: [ɐnˈton ˈjelʲtɕɪn]


  1. ^ a b Staff (1996–2012). "Anton Yelchin". AskMen - Become A Better Man. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Gilbey, Ryan (June 20, 2016). "Anton Yelchin obituary". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved June 20, 2016. 
  3. ^ Bentley, Rick (February 22, 2008). "A beaming Yelchin is getting beamed up/Young actor, starring as teenager in Charlie Bartlett, sets his sights on the stars". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Slate, Libby (December 22, 1989). "Former Soviet Skate Stars Top Bill at Knott's". Los Angeles Times. p. 1. Retrieved February 16, 2007. Then too there was religious and political oppression. In 1972, as the nationally third-ranked pair team, they qualified for the Olympics but were not permitted to go because of their religion. 
  5. ^ a b c Longsdorf, Amy (May 10, 2009). "A bold step for young actor". The Mercury. Retrieved April 6, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b LaGambina, Gregg (2009). "The Wanderlust of Anton Yelchin". Flaunt. Retrieved April 6, 2010. The Star of David has been in my family for a long time, and obviously I'm Jewish. 
  7. ^ a b Pfefferman, Naomi (April 2, 2015). "Anton Yelchin explores extramarital love's time slot in '5 to 7'". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved June 19, 2016. 
  8. ^ Stern, Marlow (August 19, 2011). "Hollywood's New 'It' Geek". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c "Dog star a veteran at 17". Pasadena Star News. January 6, 2007. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved January 7, 2007. 
  10. ^ Itier, Emmanuel (January 30, 2008). "On Top of the Teenage World as 'Charlie Bartlett' & as Pavel Chekov in 'Star Trek' Reboot". Buzzine. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  11. ^ Germain, David (October 26, 2011). "Trek' co-star Yelchin finds love in 'Like Crazy'". The Boston Globe. 
  12. ^ Puig, Claudia (January 11, 2007). "Alpha Dog: Razor-sharp reality". USA Today. Retrieved January 26, 2007. 
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  15. ^ Dawtrey, Adam (June 6, 2007). "Mischa Barton to star in Joffe's t.A.T.u.". Variety. Retrieved August 27, 2007. 
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  20. ^ Yelchin, Anton (30 January 2012). "Crazy In Love — Anton Yelchin Interview". SteveCummins.com (Interview). Interview with Steve Cummins. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  21. ^ Simpson, Rob (2012). "The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists (Review)". Vulture Hound Magazine. Vulture Hound Magazine. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
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  23. ^ Hill, Logan (2011-10-23). "Anton Yelchin on His Role in 'Like Crazy'". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  24. ^ "Anton Yelchin: 4 Unreleased Movies Featuring the Late Actor". July 25, 2016. 
  25. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (15 June 2016). "'Trollhunters': Anton Yelchin, Kelsey Grammer & Ron Perlman To Lead Cast Of Guillermo del Toro Netflix Animated Series". Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  26. ^ "'Trollhunter' Trailer: First Look at Guillermo del Toro's New Series". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 10 October 2016. 
  27. ^ Kirk, Jeremy (March 21, 2011). "SXSW Video Interview: Anton Yelchin for Mel Gibson's 'The Beaver'". Retrieved March 25, 2011. 
  28. ^ "About Anton Yelchin". Anton Yelchin Foundation. Retrieved 29 March 2018. Anton did not share details about his medical challenges with the public, but he suffered from Cystic Fibrosis from an early age. 
  29. ^ "Anton Yelchin Biography". M&C. Retrieved May 25, 2009. 
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  35. ^ "Cast of The Smurfs (2011)". 
  36. ^ Dove, Steve (February 26, 2017). "Sarah Bareilles Performs "In Memoriam" Tribute at 2017 Oscars". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved July 9, 2017. 
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  42. ^ McNary, Dave (April 22, 2015). "Documentary 'Unity' Set for Aug. 12 Release with 100 Star Narrators". Variety. Retrieved May 1, 2015. 

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