Verne Troyer, best known as Mini-Me in ‘Austin Powers,’ dead at 49

Verne Troyer, the actor whose iconic portrayal as Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” trilogy catapulted him to national stardom, died Saturday. He was 49.

A statement posted to the actor’s Instagram page confirmed his passing.
Troyer, who for years struggled with alcoholism and depression, was put on life support earlier this month after friends found him intoxicated and suicidal, according to a TMZ report.

The actor had checked himself into a rehab program a year ago to overcome his addiction, the gossip website reported.

“Over the years he’s struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately this time was too much,” Saturday’s Instagram post read.
Troyer was born with a genetic disorder known as achondroplasia dwarfism, and at 2 feet, 8 inches, was one of the shortest men in the world.

His diminutive height landed him the role of Mini-Me, Dr. Evil’s sidekick, in the 1999 film “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” and the 2002 flick “Austin Powers in Goldmember.”

“Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honor of working with him,” “Austin Powers” star Mike Myers said in a statement. “It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed.”
Troyer also appeared in dozens of other movies and reality shows, including “The Surreal Life” in 2006 and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” as the goblin Griphook.

The actor was slated to appear in the 2018 film “Hipsters, Gangsters, Aliens and Geeks” and “The 420 Movie: Mary & Jane.”

Troyer began his film career in 1994 as a stunt double in “Baby’s Day Out,” according to his IMDB page.

Troyer grew up in Sturgis, Mich., and graduated from Centreville High School in 1987. He was briefly married to Playboy model Genevieve Gallen in 2004.

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

“He also touched more people’s hearts than he will ever know.”

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