Verne Troyer, the actor best known for playing Mini-Me in the Austin Power films and one of the shortest men in the world, has died. He was 49.
The news was announced in a post to his official Facebook page.
“It is with great sadness and incredible heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today,” the statement reads. “Verne was an extremely caring individual…[he] hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message everyday.”
The statement also made allusions to depression and suicide, and encouraged people to “be kind” to one another because “you never know what kind of battle someone is going through inside.”
Troyer’s “Austin Powers” co-star Mike Myers paid tribute to the actor on Saturday.
“Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honour of working with him,” Myers said. “It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed.”
In addition to his credits in “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” and “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” Troyer also acted in the first Harry Potter film as Griphook the goblin. He had more than 25 other film credits to his name, including roles in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” “The Love Guru,” and “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.”
Born January 1, 1969 in Michigan, Troyer was raised in the Amish faith for a time, but his parents eventually left the religion. He graduated from Centreville High School in 1987.
Troyer’s unusual height of 2’8″ was a result of achondroplasia dwarfism. He has stated that his parents “never treated me any different than my other average-sized siblings. I used to have to carry wood, feed the cows and pigs and farm animals.”
The actor had struggled with alcohol abuse in the past, nearly dying from alcohol poisoning in 2002. In 2017, he announced he would be checking into a treatment center in a post to his Facebook page.
Read the full announcement of Troyer’s death below.
“It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today.
Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible. Verne hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message everyday.
He inspired people around the world with his drive, determination, and attitude. On film & television sets, commercial shoots, at comic-con’s & personal appearances, to his own YouTube videos, he was there to show everyone what he was capable of doing. Even though his stature was small and his parents often wondered if he’d be able to reach up and open doors on his own in his life, he went on to open more doors for himself and others than anyone could have imagined. He also touched more peoples hearts than he will ever know.
Verne was also a fighter when it came to his own battles. Over the years he’s struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately this time was too much.
During this recent time of adversity he was baptized while surrounded by his family. The family appreciates that they have this time to grieve privately.
Depression and Suicide are very serious issues. You never know what kind of battle someone is going through inside. Be kind to one another. And always know, it’s never too late to reach out to someone for help.
In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make a donation in Verne’s name to either of his two favorite charities; The Starkey Hearing Foundation and Best Buddies.”