New York: Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin has died in a car accident at the age of 27.
He died in a freak accident after becoming pinned between his own car and a brick mailbox at his home in Los Angeles in the early hours of Sunday morning, police said.
Yelchin was best known for playing starship navigator Pavel Chekov in the reboot of the film franchise, which started with Star Trek in 2009.
He also appears in the sequels Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and Star Trek Beyond, which is due to be released in July.
Yelchin was discovered after concerned friends visited his home because he had failed to attend a rehearsal hours earlier.
LAPD spokesman Jenny Hauser said: “It was the result of the victim’s own car rolling backwards down his steep driveway, pinning him against a brick mailbox pillar and security fence.
“The victim was on his way to meet his friends for rehearsal.
“And when he didn’t show up, his friends went to his house, where they found him deceased by his car.
“It appeared he had momentarily exited his car leaving it in the driveway.”
Paramount Pictures, which makes Star Trek, said 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 missed by all.
“We share our deepest condolences with his mother, father and family.”
Actor John Cho, who plays Sulu in the new Star Trek films, said: “I loved Anton Yelchin so much.
“He was a true artist – curious, beautiful, courageous. He was a great pal and a great son. I’m in ruins.”
An only child, Yelchin was born in Russia and moved to the US as a baby with his parents, who were professional figure skaters.
He had begun his acting career when he was just nine years old and as a teenager appeared alongside Sir Anthony Hopkins in Hearts In Atlantis (2001) and Robin Williams in House Of D (2004).
Yelchin also had roles in the Steven Spielberg miniseries Taken, as well as the films Terminator Salvation, Charlie Bartlett, Fright Night, Like Crazy and Only Lovers Left Alive.