December 22, 2020
Four years ago, actor Anton Yelchin who played the popular character, Pavel Chekov, in three "Star Trek" films, died tragically at the age of 27.
Yelchin, who, like his best-known character from "Star Trek" Pavel Chekov, is of Russian descent, is survived by his parents, former pair figure skaters Irina Korina and Viktor Yelchin.
Anton Yelchin at the 71st Venice Film Festival in September 2014 in Italy | Source: Getty Images
Yelchin's unresponsive body was found by friends who went to his home to check up on him after he failed to show up at a music rehearsal. When they arrived at his home, they found him crushed between his car and his brick gate post.
Authorities believe that Yelchin got out of his car to check his mail, leaving his Jeep Cherokee on park, and running. The car rolled down the incline and crushed him. His car was recalled by Fiat Chrysler as a “rollaway risk.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Yelchin's death triggered an investigation involving over 850,000 vehicles. The Administration has warned drivers:
"[Drivers assuming] their vehicle’s transmission is in the ‘park’ position may be struck by the vehicle and injured if they attempt to get out of the vehicle.”
Anton Yelchin at the premiere of "Cymbeline" in 2014 in Venice, Italy | Source: Getty Images
Yelchin's grieving parents, former stars of the Leningrad Ice Ballet, Irina and Victor Yelchin, are still struggling to cope with their loss. Four years after their son's death, they still visit his grave every day. Irina revealed:
“Our days start from Hollywood Forever. Victor goes first, then I come and switch.”
THE ANTON YELCHIN FOUNDATION
In honor of his memory, they created the Anton Yelchin Foundation, which supports young artists with disabilities or debilitating diseases, giving out financial grants and promoting their work.
The Foundation is open for grant applications all year round for young people who face challenges. Irina and Victor hope that every artist they support will continue their son's legacy.
His mother Irina believes that even today, Yelchin is reaching through to communicate with her.
Yelchin was fighting a debilitating disease himself, something which few people outside his family circle were aware of. The actor had been battling cystic fibrosis from a young age.
Cystic fibrosis is a progressive disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system. Cystic fibrosis is a congenital disease, which often cuts the lives of its sufferers short.
In 2019, a documentary about Yelchin's life premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The film featured archival footage of Yelchin from home movies shot by Irina and Victor, and from his movies.
The documentary featured Yelchin's friends and colleagues like Academy Award winner Jodie Foster, actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart, and actor Chris Pine.
MESSAGE FROM ANTON
Irina and Victor's lives are built around preserving their son's memory and legacy. His mother, Irina, believes that even today, Yelchin is reaching through to communicate with her. She revealed:
“Anton sends us signs, truly. He always drew hearts and there was a cloud shaped exactly like one of his hearts in the sky two days ago."
Irina and Victor are determined to continue their work with his foundation, and their next project is to write a book about Anton Yelchin, which will be a biography of the actor who showed such promise and died much too soon.
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