Anton Yelchin was extraordinary, starting right from his first days of life. Born to a pair of Jewish figure skaters in what was then still the USSR, his family withstood enough prejudicial treatment and political oppression to afford them refugee status from the United States, where the Yelchin clan moved while Anton was still an infant. It was a long way to go for a man who went very far.
The 27-year-old's shocking death this past weekend was deeply saddening for all of the obvious reasons – the senseless cruelty of happenstance, the loved ones wracked with bereavement – but his youth made this particularly painful. Having long since established his bona fides as a talented performer consistently challenging himself with diverse roles, he was only just beginning what would've been a long, rich career.
As we sort through our own grief and induct another member to the dreaded "27 Club," the most meaningful tribute we can pay is to appreciate the outstanding performances Yelchin turned in while he was still alive. A few years out from 30, and he had already worked with exciting directors in well-reviewed independent films and proved his star-power in big-budget blockbusters. Here, we recall seven of his most memorable film roles.