|Image courtesy ILM/AP, LA Times|
Yelchin was born March 11, 1989, in Leningrad, Soviet Union (now Saint Petersburg, Russia). His parents, Irina Korina and Viktor Yelchin, were pair figure skaters who were celebrities as stars of the Leningrad Ice Ballet for 15 years. His family is Jewish; in the USSR, they were subjected to religious and political oppression. Yelchin had said: "My grandparents suffered in ways I can’t even begin to understand under Stalin."Yelchin died in a freak accident, apparently while checking his mailbox, according to the LA Times:
Nationally, Yelchin's parents were the third-ranked pair team; they thus qualified for the 1972 Winter Olympics, but were not permitted to participate by the Soviet authorities (Yelchin has said the reason was unclear: "I don't exactly know what that was – because they were Jewish or because the KGB didn't want them to travel"). His family moved to the United States in September 1989, when Anton was six months old, after receiving refugee status from the United States Department of State.
Actor Anton Yelchin, perhaps best known for his role in the new “Star Trek” films, died early Sunday after his vehicle rolled down his Studio City driveway and trapped the actor against a mailbox, authorities confirmed.We've lost many of our screen friends from the Original Series, which as you know is now itself 50 years old. Leonard Nimoy died just a year ago at age 83, DeForest Kelly died years ago at age 79, and James Doohan (Scotty) a few years later at 85. (William Shatner, the real Captain Kirk, remains incredibly active and vibrant at age 85, same for 79-year-olds George Takei and Walter Koenig.) We can accept, though with difficulty, the loss of old friends. But to have such a young life snuffed out in an instant, in a senseless, and yes, freak, accident, well, it will take me a lot longer to accept that.
Friends went to the 27-year-old actor’s home shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday, when he didn’t show up for a rehearsal as expected, L.A. police Officer Jenny Houser told The Times. Authorities believe Yelchin’s vehicle rolled backward down the steep driveway, Houser said, pinning him against a brick mailbox and security gate.
I am amused by the number of Jewish actors who have "gone where no man has gone before". The list is longer than I would have thought. I was not aware of Yelchin's Jewish heritage until today, but it should come as no surprise. Shatner, Nimoy, and Koenig, as well as Marc Lenard (the only actor to portray a Klingon, Romulan, and a Vulcan--Sarek, Spock's father), and from the spin-offs, Brent Spiner, Armin Shimmerman, Max Grodenchik, Aron Eisenberg, Wallace Shawn. Jews in Space! (With no apology at all to Mel Brooks!)
Indeed, life is short, as Anton Yelchin's tragic demise proves to us. Too short to tolerate malfunctioning PACS installations, but also too short to get one's bowels in a violent uproar over them.
You'll notice I've been silent lately. There hasn't been that much to say, or at least not that much I can or perhaps should say, if you grasp the nuance. I can tell you that several of our major problems with GE's Universal Viewer have been fixed, but several have not, with no obvious resolution in sight. Our other problem child has had a lot of talk, effort, and money thrown at it, with some improvement...but suffice it to say that a lot of what I've been talking about for the past eleven and a half years on this blog hasn't changed one little bit.
Godspeed, Anton...עליו השלום