Anton Viktorovich Yelchin was born on March 11, 1989 in Saint Petersburg, Russia to Irina Korina and Victor Yelchin; pair figure skaters who were stars of the Leningrad Ice Ballet for 15 years. Fleeing Soviet persecution the Yelchin family retreated to the United States in September 1989, when Anton was six months old, and thereafter granted refugee status from the Department of State.
His mother worked as a figure skating choreographer and his father as a figure skating coach, having been Sasha Cohen’s first trainer. In an article published in the Los Angeles Times in December 1989, Yelchin’s mother stated, “A woman came up, saw Anton, and said, ‘He’s beautiful. He will be actor.'” Yelchin had stated that he “wasn’t very good” at figure skating and thus, one of the greatest actors of our time was born.
He attended the Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies in Tarzana, CA and enrolled at the University of Southern California in the fall of 2007 to study film. He worked along side some of Hollywood’s most legendary actors and stared in many blockbuster films such as Star Trek and Terminator Salvation. He won the Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actor for Hearts in Atlantis in 2002 and the Boston Society of Film Critics Awards for Best Ensemble Cast in Star Trek in 2009. He was nominated for countless others.
Anton Yelchin was spoken of highly by everyone who worked with him which is why Hollywood was shaken to it’s very core on June 19, 2016 when he was found pinned between his Jeep Grand Cherokee and a brick pillar outside his house in Studio City, California in a freak accident. As Yelchin got out of his car, the vehicle apparently rolled back down his driveway, which was on a steep incline, and trapped him against the pillar and a security fence. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office identified the cause of death as “blunt traumatic asphyxia” and stated that there were “no obvious suspicious circumstances involved.
In October 2017, a bronze statue of Yelchin was erected at his grave in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
It is a bittersweet moment, because we’re here for Anton, and he’s not here with us. But, it alleviates my heart knowing that we’ll keep him alive. We’re going to keep remembering him in the hopes that by practicing all the things he believed in and remembering all the love that he gave us, and all the joy he gave us, we’re able to just keep him here with us.Zoe Saldana paying tribute to the late Anton Yelchin’s statue unveiling 2017
Yelchin was born with Cystic Fibrosis, but his condition was kept under wraps for most of his young life. Details of his medical condition were only revealed to the public after his death by a foundation established in his name. The Anton Yelchin Foundation was founded in 2017 with their mission being to empower and support young people engaged in creative arts who face career challenges due to debilitating disease or disability.
They award financial grants to eligible applicants in need, raise awareness about young artists with debilitating disease or disability, and bring the work of these young artists to a wider audience. Victor Yelchin is their CEO and Board President and Irina Yelchina is their Secretary and a board member. Zoe Saldana is also a board member.
At the 2019 Sundance Film Festival Victor and Irina Yelchin premiered a documentary about their son, Love, Antosha. Yelchin enjoyed playing the guitar, which he said gave him a lot of fulfillment, and was a fan of acoustic blues music. He was also interested in photography. In January 2018, an exhibit of Yelchin’s photography entitled Anton Yelchin: Provacative Beauty was displayed at New York City’s De Buck Gallery.
Yelchin played several roles towards the end of his career that showcased his talents musically, including the emotional Rudderless and the thriller Green Room, and along with the release of his documentary came one final gift to all his brokenhearted fans.
An album full of music written and performed by the young actor and a band he used to perform with called The Hammerheads. As one of Anton’s biggest fans since Delivering Milo, listening to this album was one of the most emotional moments of my life. It’s raw, pure and beautiful. Plain and simple. It really shows a side of Anton that very few were ever able to see and it gives his fans one last chance to keep him with them forever.
Prolific young actor Anton Yelchin was wise beyond his years and influenced everyone around him to strive for more. Love, Antosha tells the story of Yelchin’s creative persistence. His devoted Russian parents nurtured his love of acting, exposing him to works of the masters. Filming himself became a tool for his transformation; reflecting on his own performance, he pushed himself to find depth in every role. Often the youngest actor on set, Yelchin’s intense focus inspired many actors around him Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pine, and John Cho share revealing insights into his character. Though he kept it a secret, Yelchin lived with a dangerous health condition, but he never became discouraged. As he grew into his craft, he continually enriched his understanding of the world, embodying an incredible authenticity.Love, Antosha
Love, Antosha features interviews from some of Hollywood’s finest including: J. J. Abrams, John Cho, Willem Dafoe, Jodie Foster, Bryce Dallas Howard, Martin Landau, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, and Kristen Stewart as well as many, many more. Nicolas Cage narrates the film and several of Anton’s personal writings. The film will be released by Lurker Productions in New York and Los Angeles in August 2019.
To donate or to learn more about The Anton Yelchin Foundation please visit their website.