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Spielberg praises the late Anton Yelchin as ‘so good’

June 22, 2016 GMT
FILE - In this June 11, 2015, file photo, Anton Yelchin arrives at a special screening of "Burying the Ex" held at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles. Yelchin, a charismatic and rising actor best known for playing Chekov in the new "Star Trek" films, has died at the age of 27. He was killed in a fatal traffic collision early Sunday morning, June 19, 2016, his publicist confirmed. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this June 11, 2015, file photo, Anton Yelchin arrives at a special screening of "Burying the Ex" held at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles. Yelchin, a charismatic and rising actor best known for playing Chekov in the new "Star Trek" films, has died at the age of 27. He was killed in a fatal traffic collision early Sunday morning, June 19, 2016, his publicist confirmed. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Steven Spielberg has praised the late actor Anton Yelchin, whom he cast as a boy in the 2002 miniseries “Taken.”

In an interview, Spielberg said he was impressed by Yelchin from dailies of his performance in a 2000 episode of the medical drama “ER.”

“And he kept impressing people because he was so good,” said Spielberg. “He kept getting these great parts.”

The director said he was a fan of Yelchin’s 2006 drama, “Alpha Dog,” and of his performance in J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek.”

The 27-year-old Yelchin was killed early Sunday when his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee pinned him against a mailbox pillar at the bottom of his Los Angeles driveway. The SUV was part of an April recall by Fiat Chrysler because of gear shifters causing vehicles to roll away unexpectedly.