Verne Troyer, who played 'Mini-Me' in Austin Powers films, dies at 49

Troyer (above, in 2011), was best known for his role as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers movies.
Troyer (above, in 2011), was best known for his role as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers movies.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Verne Troyer, best known for his role as Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” movies, has died, according to a post on his official social media accounts Saturday (April 21). He was 49.

While no cause of death was revealed, the post spoke of the diminutive actor’s “recent time of adversity” with depression, noting he recently got baptized.

“Over the years he’s struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately this time was too much,” it added.

“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.”

Troyer was taken to hospital early this month for unknown treatment.

The actor spoke about his problems with alcohol during another hospital stay a year ago.

“It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today,” the post read.

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. Photo by @paulmobleystudio
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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. Photo by @paulmobleystudio

A post shared by Verne Troyer (@vernetroyer) on

One of the world’s shortest men at just 81cm due to achondroplasia dwarfism, Troyer first entered show business as a stunt person in Baby’s Day Out (1994).

“In 1993, I was working for Sprint in customer service, and a friend of mine who was the president of LPA – Little People of America – got a phone call from the producers of Baby’s Day Out, and they were wondering if there was anyone close to a stand-in size,” he recalled in a 2012 interview with Hollywood Chicago.

“I guess they searched worldwide and couldn’t find anyone. I sent in my picture, and they flew me out to Hollywood to meet with them. Two days later, they offered me the job, and I quit my job at Sprint.”

In addition to his breakout role as the evil “Mini-Me” in the first Austin Powers movie Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Troyer was also known for playing Griphook in Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone.

“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,” the social media post read.

“He inspired people around the world with his drive, determination, and attitude.”