Anton Yelchin honored by Zoe Saldana during statue unveiling

By Wade Sheridan  |  Oct. 9, 2017 at 11:36 AM
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Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Anton Yelchin was honored by family and friends, including Zoe Saldana, at a ceremony that featured the unveiling of a statue made in the actor's likeness.

"It is a bittersweet moment, because we're here for Anton, and he's not here with us," Saldana, who starred alongside Yelchin in a trio of Star Trek films said at the event.

"But, it alleviates my heart knowing that we'll keep him alive. We're going to keep remembering him in the hopes that by practicing all the things he believed in and remembering all the love that he gave us, and all the joy he gave us, we're able to just keep him here with us," Saldana said before reading a chapter on friendship from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.

"Ever since I read that chapter about friendship, that is the one thing I always try to seek in people, and when I find human beings who truly understand the meaning of friendship, I'm moved and inspired," she said.

Other stars who attended the event included Jennifer Lawrence, Jon Voight, director Fred Parnes, Demi Moore and her daughter Rumer Willis, along with Star Trek director J.J. Abrams and co-star Simon Pegg.

Yelchin died in June 2016 at age 27 after he was pinned by his car outside his home in Studio City, Calif. The statue created by sculptor Nick Marra and FX artist Greg Nicotero, is located at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Yelchin's mother, Irina, also delivered a speech about the Anton Yelchin Foundation, which helps young artists "who face career challenges due to debilitating disease or disability."

"We want to keep Anton's spirit, his legacy, alive for many, many years to come," Irina said.

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