Verne Troyer best known for his portrayal of “Mini Me” in the “Austin Powers” movie franchise, has passed away at 49. A statement posted on the actor’s social media page today (Apr. 21) suggests that the actor committed suicide.
“It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today,” the statement said.
“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,” the statement continued.
Troyer had reportedly been hospitalized earlier this month suffering from alcoholism. He had been in rehab previously.
Troyer was born in 1969 and was diagnosed with hypoplasia dwarfism as a baby. He only grew to a height of about three feet. But he made his mark in Hollywood.
He graduated from high school in the late ’80s, and began acting in Arlington, Texas. His first film role came when he was cast as a stunt double for a nine-month-old baby in the 1994 comedy film, “Baby’s Day Out.”
He later appeared as Pinocchio in the 996 fantasy horror movie, “Pinocchio’s Revenge.” In his next several roles he continued to portray children. He made appearances in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (1998), “Mighty Joe Young” (1998), “Instinct” (1999) and “Shasta McNasty” (1999).
The role that made him famous in his own right came in the 1999 action comedy, “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” starring Mike Myers of “Saturday Night Live” fame. He reprised the role three years later in “Austin Powers in Goldmember.”
Troyer also had a role in the 2001 blockbuster “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” Troyer played Griphook, a goblin who works at the Gringotts Wizarding Bank.
After the Second Wizarding War, his character escorted Harry through the underground rail system to his vault to retrieve the Philosopher’s Stone.
Troyer also appeared in “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” and was most recently cast in the 2017 comedy film, “The 420 Movie: Mary & Jane.”
“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,” his family’s statement said.
It continued: “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.
Verne’s family have asked fans who wish to pay their respects to donate in his name to two of his favourite charities. “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.”