My first introduction to Anton Yelchin was when watching “Criminal Intent.” On the show, he played a very disturbed young man.Flame of Yelchin snuffed out far too soon

I can’t say enough about how much I enjoy that show, nor can I put my finger on why I enjoy Yelchin as much as I do.

His career started long before that 2006 “Criminal Intent” appearance. In 2000, Yelchin appeared in a single episode of “ER.”

Sadly, Yelchin died last year, thrusting him into the ranks of the “27 Club,” joining Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and many other celebrities who died at the age of 27. His career spans a total of 17 years, since there still are a few films he acted in that are being released this year.

While Yelchin had acted in a couple of notable franchises, the one most seem to be familiar with is Star Trek.

He died very shortly before “Star Trek Beyond” was released, in an accident likely caused by a factory-recalled transmission issue in his Jeep.

I avoided “Beyond” for five or six months after Yelchin’s death. I read somewhere before the movie was released that his character was given more screen time in “Beyond” than in the previous two installments, “Star Trek” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

However, I still could not bring myself to watch the movie right away. While I did not know Yelchin personally, I feel as if I watched him grow up.

He was of Jewish and Russian descent, born to two figure skaters. He was not interested in skating, but instead preferred acting.

“Outside of his acting profession, Anton loved reading, and was also fond of playing chess. He wrote music and performed with a band, where he also played piano and guitar,” according to

Eventually, I did finally watch “Star Trek Beyond.” I saw how the character had potential to grow and I saw Yelchin shine in his role.

My heart was saddened that such a talented young man died so young and because of such a senseless accident.

I’ll leave this blog post with some words from Yelchin and I think we all can stand to apply the truth of his words to our own circumstances:

“The ability to have a choice in what you do is a privilege.”