He will surely be missed!
The world lost yet another treasured actor this week when Anton Yelchin passed away in a car accident. Known for his charming boyish smile and incredible talent on screen, Anton will definitely be missed by his many adoring fans.
The American actor was born on March 11, 1989 in Leningrad, Russia. The son of an internationally ranked pair of ice dancers, his parents fled Russia six months after his birth when the U.S. State Department granted them refugee status. His parents continued in their chosen field, teaching and coaching young ice skaters. It was during a practice session with their son Anton when a woman approached them and remarked on how beautiful he was and insisted he would be an actor one day. This was probably for the best, as he wasn’t showing much promise as an ice skater.
He began acting in the late 1990’s, landing roles on big projects like ER, The Practice, Judging Amy, and even Curb Your Enthusiasm. And those are just a few. He’s credited with 15 TV appearances, including a two-year run on the show Huff. He’s pictured here with costars Hank Azaria, Oliver Platt, and Blythe Danner (to drop a few big names!). Although he had success on the small screen, the silver screen is where he really showed off his talents.
Did you know he’s had credentialed roles in more than 45 films! WOW! His first shot at movie fame came in the small budget project, Delivering Milo. Before he knew it he was starring in bigger and bigger projects until he got the role that cemented his name in pop culture: Star Trek, playing Pavel Chekov, the iconic character from the original series. There’s no more rabid and appreciative fan base than in the Comic-Con realm. They sure do love their character actors. Yelchin was welcomed into that community with open arms, and rightly so. He’s gotten some rather flattering praise over the years. Did you know he won three Young Artist Awards for Best Performance? Well, he did. His career only got brighter after securing a recurring role in the Star Trek franchise. In fact, he still has films in post-production waiting for release, so we’ll still get to see him on the big screen a few more times.
While his family, friends, and fans are all mourning the tragic loss, the media (especially social media) are busy speculating on his love life. He was unmarried and had no children and everyone wants to know who his romantic partner was at the time of his death. Some claim he was dating Imogen Poots, while others argue he was with former girlfriend, Mika Boorem. There’s even further rumors that he wasn’t dating a women at all because he’s gay.
Whatever his sexual preference and whoever he was dating at the time of his death is of little consequence now that he’s gone. In this hostile social climate that places way too much emphasis on sex and gender, it can serve little good to go digging for scandal. Why is it so important to know who he was sleeping with at the time of his death? For the sake of argument, let’s say it comes out that he was gay, bi, trans — or anything other than the traditional straight white male everyone assumed him to be. Does it alter his impressive body of work? Not at all. The only thing that changes is the individual’s perception of it after gaining this new knowledge. Star Trek won’t stop being a good movie just because Anton Yelchin isn’t straight.
This type of demonizing sexuality perpetuates stereotypes and sows social discord. Bash his acting skills, fashion sense, or political choices if you have to attack something about his character, but leave his sexuality out if this! Hopefully for everyone involved his memory won’t be tarnished with scandal and rumor.
Being an only child, Yelchin was the sole heir to the family fortune, which is estimated at more than $10 million dollars. With him gone, who will get the money? Hopefully it goes to some deserving extended family or into the hands of charity.
He was only 27 when he passed, and had his whole life before him. The cause of his death was quite shocking. He stopped his car to retrieve his mail, when he exited the vehicle, the car rolled back and struck him, pinning him between the car and a wall. He died later that day of blunt traumatic asphyxia, which is the technical term for his cause of death. Perhaps the most ironic part of the whole affair is that the Jeep Cherokee he was driving is known for just such a problem. Actually, the vehicle had been recalled in April to fix the issue. If only he had had the recall work done right away, he might still be here today.
Look for Anton in the next installment of the Start Trek franchise due to be released July 22, 2016.