Heartbreak in Hollywood following death of 27-year-old Anton Yelchin

Anton Yelchin (left) in the Star Trek reboot
Paramount Pictures
Early Sunday morning, Hollywood lost one of its brightest rising stars. In what has been described as a freak accident, 27-year-old Anton Yelchin, who delivered memorable performances in films including Like Crazy, Alpha Dog, and Star Trek, was killed after being pinned between his car and a brick mailbox. “Actor Anton Yelchin was killed in a fatal traffic collision early this morning,” read a statement from his representative. “His family requests you respect their privacy at this time.”

Friends first began to worry when the young actor did not appear for a scheduled band performance. He was later discovered trapped between his car and his mailbox at his San Fernando Valley home. The mailbox, situated against a brick pillar, sat at the end of a steep decline. His car was in neutral with the engine running upon his discovery. There is no foul play suspected in the tragedy.

Los Angles Police Department spokesperson Jenny Hauser released a statement following Yelchin’s death, in which she noted, “On Sunday, June 19 at 1:10 in the morning, a fatal traffic collision occurred. It was the result of the victim’s own car rolling backwards down his steep driveway, pinning him against a brick mailbox pillar and security fence.”

Hauser also notes that his friends “found him deceased by his car. It appeared he had momentarily exited his car leaving it in the driveway.”

Yelchin is perhaps best known for playing Pavel Chekhov in the latest reboot of the Star Trek series, the most recent installment of which is set to debut on July 22. Following the devastating announcement, Paramount Pictures released a statement of its own, reading, “All of us at Paramount join the world in mourning the untimely passing of Antony Yelchin. As a member of the Star Trek family, he was beloved by so many and he will missed by all. We share our deepest condolences with his mother, father and family.”

Yelchin was born in Leningrad to champion figure skaters, who emigrated to the U.S. when he was six months old. He began his acting career at the age of 9, soon starring opposite stars like Anthony Hopkins and Robin Williams in films like House of D and Hearts in Atlantis. His work in Like Crazy won him much critical acclaim, with Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times noting that he “… expertly delineates the core quietness of Jacob, his tangible seriousness and sincerity.”

Fellow actors have taken to social media to express their sorrow, with John Cho and Kat Dennings both tweeting messages of mourning and condolence. Cho tweeted, “I loved Anton Yelchin so much. He was a true artist — curious, beautiful, courageous. He was a great pal and a great son. I’m in ruins.” Kat Dennings echoed the sentiments, tweeting, “Anton Yelchin was one of my best friends. Can’t say anything that conveys what this feels like.”

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