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Anton Yelchin, Star Trek actor, dies at 27

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Anton Yelchin died Sunday morning in “fatal traffic collision,” his representative confirmed to EW. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office told PEOPLE that his body “was found pinned between a car and a gate at a home in Studio City, California” and that an exact cause of death will not be announced until the autopsy is complete. He was 27.

Yelchin begin his acting career appearing in shows like ER, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. In 2006, he received critical acclaim for his performance in crime drama Alpha Dog and starred as the title character in the next year’s Charlie Bartlett.

The actor made his Star Trek debut in the franchise’s 2009 film, where he played Pavel Chekhov. He reprised that role in 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness and again in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, which is set to arrive in theaters July 22.

Said representatives for Paramount in a statement, “All of us at Paramount join the world in mourning the untimely passing of Anton Yelchin. As a member of the Star Trek family, he was beloved by so many and he will be missed by all. We share our deepest condolences with his mother, father and family.”

Online, many of Yelchin’s Star Trek collaborators paid tribute as well, including Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin and cast member Zachary Quinto.

“Still in shock. Rest in peace, Anton. Your passion and enthusiasm will live on with everyone that had the pleasure of knowing you,” wrote Lin.

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“Our dear friend. Our comrade. Our anton,” wrote Quinto. “One of the most open and intellectually curious people I have ever had the pleasure to know. So enormously talented and generous of heart. Wise beyond his years. And gone before his time. All love and strength to his family at this impossible time of grief.”

Although Yelchin was most known for his Star Trek work, he made a name for himself appearing in smaller films like 2011’s Like Crazy, where he starred opposite Felicity Jones, and 2011’s The Beaver, directed by Jodie Foster and also starring Mel Gibson and Jennifer Lawrence.

He last was seen in this year’s Green Room, a horror-thriller film released this past spring.

In addition to Star Trek Beyond, Yelchin was recently added to the voice cast of Netflix’s Trollhunters. “Our hearts are heavy with this tragic news and Anton’s family and friends are in our thoughts,” Netflix said in a statement. Series producer Guillermo del Toro added on Twitter, “The sweetest, most humble, delightful, talented guy you’d ever meet. Worked together for about a year. Shocked. Anton was a sweetheart. Absolutely a great creative partner and artist.”

Yelchin was also set to start in indie films Thoroughbred and Porto, and had been cast in the DirecTV series Mr. Mercedes.

“We are devastated to learn of the tragic death of Anton Yelchin,” said a representative for DirecTV. “We greatly admired his talent and were very much looking forward to working with him on Mr. Mercedes. Everyone at AT&T and AUDIENCE Network extends our deepest condolences. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”

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