LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anton Yelchin, a rising actor best known for playing Chekov in the new “Star Trek” films, was killed in a car accident early Sunday, police and his publicist said.
Yelchin, 27, was struck by his own car as it rolled backward down his driveway in Studio City, according to Los Angeles police Officer Jenny Hosier. The car pinned Yelchin against a brick mailbox pillar and a security fence.
He had gotten out of the vehicle momentarily, but police did not say why he was behind it when it started rolling.
He was on his way to meet friends for a rehearsal, Hosier said. When he didn’t show up, the group came to his home and found him dead.
Yelchin, who was Jewish, began his Hollywood career as a child in small roles in independent films and various television shows, before breaking out in movies such as crime thriller “Alpha Dog” and teen comedy “Charlie Bartlett.” His biggest role to date has been as navigator Pavel Chekov in the rebooted “Star Trek” films — the third of which, “Star Trek Beyond” comes out in July.
Yelchin, an only child, was born in Russia. His parents Irina and Viktor, both Jewish, were professional figure skaters. It is not clear if they were barred from the 1972 Olympics, for which they had qualified, because of their Jewishness. They moved to the United States in 1989 when Yelchin was a baby, having gained political refugee status from the US State Department.
The actor’s publicist, Jennifer Allen, confirmed his death and said his family requests privacy.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.