Actor Anton Yelchin, who has been playing the role of PAvel Checkov in the three recent Star Trek movies, as well as roles in Terminator: Salvation and Alphas Dogs among others, passed away early this morning in a freak automobile accident at the age of 27.
It appears that Yelchin had exited his car while it was running, and it rolled, pinning him against a brick post next to a security gate, suffering traumatic injuries.
Yelchin was born in St. Petersburg, Russia (back then it was still called Leningrad as part of the Soviet Union), but emigrated with his parents (professional figure skaters ho qualified for the 1972 Olympics but because they were Jewish were not permitted to represent the USSR) to the United States when he was only 6 months old. His parents went on to become skating instructors, but at a young age he showed more interest in acting than skating. He made his acting debut at the age of 10 in a guest spot on ER in 2000. and just a year later earned acclaim opposite Anthony Hopkins in Heart of Atlantis, earning a Young Artist Award.