Anton Viktorovich Yelchin (Russian: Анто́н Ви́кторович Ельчи́н; March 11, 1989 June 19, 2016) was a Russian-born Jewish American film and television actor, best known for playing Pavel Chekov in the Star Trek reboot films. His parents, champion figure skaters, fled the former Soviet Union when he was 6 months old. Immediately sucking at figure skating, Anton found a calling in acting, in which his parents supported him. He played mostly in intense dramas, and developed his career playing cute little boys, and then complex young men coming of age.
He was born with cystic fibrosis, an illness he struggled with his whole life, yet managed to keep secret while building a prolific acting career and pursuing other artistic endeavors like music and photography. However, tragedy struck when he died in an auto-related incident on June 19, 2016, at the age of 27.note
A documentary chronicling his life and career, Love, Antosha, premiered in 2019.
Notable film credits:
- Along Came a Spider (2001): as Dimitri Starodubov
- Hearts in Atlantis (2001): as Bobby Garfield
- Alpha Dog (2006): as Zack Mazursky
- Charlie Bartlett (2007): as Charlie Bartlett
- Terminator Salvation (2009): as Kyle Reese
- Star Trek Kelvin Timeline film series as Ensign Pavel Chekov
- The Beaver (2011): as Porter Black
- Fright Night (2011): as Charley Brewster
- Like Crazy (2011): as Jacob Matthew Helm
- From Up on Poppy Hill (2011): as Shun Kazama (English dub)
- The Smurfs live-action films (2011-2013): as Clumsy Smurf; also voiced the role in two short films. He also voiced the character for two video game tie-ins note
- Curb Your Enthusiasm: as Larry's cousin.
- The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012): The Albino Pirate (dubbed over Russell Tovey for the American release of the film)
- Odd Thomas (2013): as Odd Thomas
- Only Lovers Left Alive (2013): as Ian
- Burying the Ex (2014): as Max
- Green Room (2015): as Pat
- Trollhunters (2016): as James Lake
- Thoroughbreds (2018): as Tim - this was his last role; he died two weeks after filming
This actor's roles provide examples of:
- Adorably Precocious Child: Many of his early roles. He still had it when he plays Chekov.
- Children Are Innocent: Of his earliest works, this trope is most noticeable in Delivering Milo and Hearts in Atlantis.
- Coming-of-Age Story: Many of his roles were in these.
- Crazy-Prepared: Downplayed with Trollhunters: by the time he died, Yelchin had performed two and a half seasons' worth of dialogue, though he had to be recast with Emile Hirsch midway through season 3. Unfortunately, he wouldn't live to see the series premiere.
- Endearingly Dorky: Yelchin would commonly play characters who are either sensitive, shy, or quiet ones such as his take on Clumsy in the Live-Action films based on The Smurfs by Sony Pictures between 2011 and 2013.
- Oh, Crap!: Anton built his career on this facial expression (he gets a particularly awesome one in New York I Love You).
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: He had a tendency to speak extra slowly and clearly in some of his earlier roles to mask his very thick California accent.
- Vocal Dissonance: He had a surprisingly deep, raspy voice that contrasted his boyish appearance.