Filmmaker: ‘Star Trek’ Actor Anton Yelchin Kept Cystic Fibrosis Diagnosis a Secret

August 28, 2019 Updated: August 28, 2019

Anton Yelchin, the young “Star Trek” actor who died in a freak accident in 2016, apparently kept his cystic fibrosis diagnosis a secret.

“The first thing that surprised me was his chronic illness, which he was secretly dealing with throughout his career,” documentary filmmaker Garret Price told Fox News on Aug. 28. “And that in itself was totally admirable. No one knew about it. Even some of his closest friends didn’t know about it until he passed away… And the relationship he had with his parents was so important for me to get across.”

Price is behind the new documentary “Love, Antosha,” which details Yelchin’s short life, career, and cause of death.

“This was a story I wanted to tell,” Price told Fox. “I found Anton so inspiring, so layered and interesting. It was very hard for his parents. But they were always there for me. They gave me the freedom and trust to tell this story, which is difficult in itself,” he added, referring to the late actor’s parents.

“They were handing off this story of their son who had passed to a stranger,” Price added. “But they knew how important it was to share Anton’s story to the world. And this could be a tool to keep sharing his story and inspire new generations. They were there any moment I needed them… And ultimately, they loved talking about their son.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, cystic fibrosis is an inherited disorder that can cause severe damage to the digestive system, lungs, and other organs. Those who suffer from it typically die in their 30s, the website says.

Despite the diagnosis, he appeared in dozens of films and television shows. He’s best known as Pavel Chekov in the “Star Trek” reboot.

“I’ve had CF patients come to see the film at screenings and they leave so inspired by his story,” said Price.

He added: “That’s where it gets really emotional for me, talking to those people. I can’t help but think, ‘Thank God somebody like him existed.’ He proved that you can have a life, be optimistic, and push forward with this disease. It’s not an end-all. That’s how Anton addressed the disease. It wasn’t a crutch. He didn’t even tell anybody. He wasn’t going to let it hold him back. He also didn’t want people to feel sorry for him.”

Drake Doremus, a producer for the film, told Men’s Health said he didn’t want to make a sad film.

“I think it’s kind of inspiring, hopefully,” he said. “Anyone we’ve talked to with a disability, or with a condition such as cystic fibrosis, has been really inspired by the idea that as an artist, your sheer will can overcome almost anything, and that’s what’s so special about him.”

Notable Celebrity Deaths in 2019

Peter Fonda

Peter Fonda in a 2009 photo. (Glenn Francis of www.PacificProDigital.com via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

Beth Chapman

Beth Chapman-fb
Duane ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman (L) and Beth Chapman attend the Vettys Presidential Inaugural Ball at Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington, on Jan. 20, 2017. (Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images)

Doris Day

(L: Getty Images, R: Facebook | Doris Day Animal Foundation (DDAF))

John Singleton

director John Singleton portrait
John Singleton attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Calif., on March 4, 2018. He died in late April after a stroke. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Nipsey Hussle

Nipsey Hussle and Lauren London in Los Angeles, on Feb. 7, 2019. The rapper was shot dead in late March. (Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

Luke Perry

Undated file photo of Luke Perry. (Newsmakers)

Peter Tork

Peter Tork of the Monkees died at 77 in February 2019. (Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Albert Finney

British actor Albert Finney died in February 2019 at the age of 82. (Lucy Nicholson/AFP/Getty Images)
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