Born to a Russian Jewish family in Leningrad, Yelchin relocated to the United States, where he began performing in the late 1990s, appearing in several television and film roles, and receiving recognition for Hearts in Atlantis (2001). His role as Jacob Clarke in Steven Spielberg's miniseries Taken was significant in furthering his career as a child actor. He starred in multiple television series, including Huff and the posthumously released Trollhunters. He also starred in other films, including Alpha Dog (2007), Charlie Bartlett (2007), Terminator Salvation (2009), Fright Night (2011), The Smurfs (2011), Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), Green Room (2015) and Thoroughbreds (2017).
Yelchin was the son of figure skaters Irina Korina and Viktor Yelchin. He was born in Leningrad (now known as St. Petersburg, Russian Federation) and raised in the U.S. Anton's parents were disallowed from competing in the Olympic games for the Russian team due to their Jewish heritage, and had hopes of competing for the U.S. team. He started acting at age 9, doing various bit parts in minor films and stage productions. As well as Criminal Minds, he portrayed Johnny Atkins in the 2003 Without A Trace episode "The Bus". He made his transition to major film work with his role in Along Came a Spider in 2001, starred as the titular character in Charlie Bartlett in 2008, and portrayed Pavel Chekov in the 2009 Star Trek movie, a role he repeated in its two sequels, Star Trek: Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond.
In addition to his acting work, Yelchin also played acoustic guitar and was a big fan of Blues. He enrolled in The University of Southern California to study film production.
On June 19, 2016, at age 27, Yelchin was killed when he was pinned against his gate when his two ton Jeep rolled backwards in a freak accident.
On Criminal Minds
- Best Performance in a Feature Film for Hearts in Atlantis (2001)
- Leading Young Actor at the Young Actor Awards (2002)
- 15 Minutes - Boy in Burning Building (2001)
- Along Came a Spider - Dimitri Starodubov (2001)
- Hearts in Atlantis - Bobby Garfield (2001)
- Taken - Jacob Clarke (2002)
- House of D - Tommy Warshaw (2005)
- Fierce People - Finn Earl (2005)
- Alpha Dog - Zach Mazursky (2007)
- Charlie Bartlett - Charlie Bartlett (2008)
- Middle of Nowhere - Dorian Spitz (2008)
- You and I - Edvard Nikitin (2008)
- Star Trek - Pavel Chekov (2009)
- Terminator Salvation - Kyle Reese (2009)
- Odd Thomas - Odd Thomas (2013)
- He is one of the five guest stars that are connected to the Terminator franchise, the other four being Patrick Kilpatrick, Will Rothhaar, Michael Biehn, and Garret Dillahunt. He is also the first of three guest stars connected to the Star Trek franchise to appear on Criminal Minds, having appeared in the most recent movie, though it hadn't been released at the time of his appearance on the show. The other two actors are Wil Wheaton and Jonathan Frakes.
- Yelchin played Paget Brewster's (Emily Prentiss) son in the Showtime series, Huff.