Verne Troyer, a character actor most famous for his role in the Austin Powers movies, has died from a suicide at age 49. “It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today,” his spokesperson wrote in a statement. “Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh.”
“Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honor of working with him,” Mike Myers, who worked with Troyer, said in a statement. “It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed.”
Troyer was already a seasoned actor when he appeared as Mini-Me in “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.” He also appeared in “Austin Powers in Goldmember.” Troyer also worked with Meyers in the 2008 film “Love Guru.”
Troyer was not married, though he had been dating German-American actress Brittney Powell, 43. The two met on Celebrity Wife Swap in 2015.
Troyer, who had achondroplasia dwarfism, was small, just 2 feet, 8 inches tall, though he made a big impression. “I had no idea how famous [Mini-Me] was going to be,” he told Oprah after about his Austin Powers success. “Once we started rehearsal, Mike [Myers] kept adding more parts.”
His character originally died in the first film. Test screenings of this did not go well, though, and the audiences demanded he live. His career lived, too. He appeared in 58 movies and television shows. When he wasn’t on set filming, he filled his time with reality TV appearances.
Earlier this month, Troyer was involuntarily admitted for psychiatric treatment after he tried to drink himself to death.
“With your support,” Troyer told his fans, “I got this.”
“Asking you to keep Verne in your thoughts and prayers,” a family member posted. “He’s getting the best care possible and is resting comfortably.”
They posted another statement 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 every day.
“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 people’s 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.”