Verne Troyer has died at the age of 49. Best known for his role as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers franchise, Verne was a beloved actor, stunt performer and comedian. Verne passed away on Saturday, April 22 after being hospitalized earlier this month. The cause death was not released but an announcement made on his Instagram account suggests that suicide and depression may have been factors. According to CNN, Verne had struggled with alcohol addiction in the past.
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
Verne was born with a rare form of dwarfism called Cartilage-hair Hypoplasia. His small 2 foot, 8-inch stature saw him beginning his career in Hollywood as a stunt double for a 9-month-old baby in 1994’s Baby’s Day Out. His career-defining role as the iconic Mini-Me to Mike Myers’ Dr. Evil began when he was cast in 1999’s Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and 2002’s Austin Powers in Goldfinger.
Mike Meyers had the following to say on Verne’s passing:
Mike Myers’ statement on the death of ‘Austin Powers’ actor, Verne Troyer: pic.twitter.com/FshPaZSTqP— Ryan Parker (@TheRyanParker) April 21, 2018
Many other celebrities who have worked with Verne over the years also paid homage to the beloved actor.
So sad to read of the passing of Verne Troyer. A lovely smile with a caring and big heart, he helped raise money on behalf of @starkeycares for free hearing aids for deaf and hard of hearing people. RIP pic.twitter.com/pgA91tWPo6— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) April 21, 2018
So sad to hear that my friend @VerneTroyer has passed away. We shared a mutual respect for each other’s work, and I always admired his good humour and lovely nature in the face of adversity. Now, for the first time, he’ll be looking down on us all, and laughing! #RIPVerneTroyer pic.twitter.com/vLGwpWTYpE— Warwick Davis (@WarwickADavis) April 22, 2018
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Verne Troyer. pic.twitter.com/95hmqi5oE5— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 22, 2018
Verne’s family has requested donations to two of Verne’s favorite charities, The Starkey Hearing Foundation and Best Buddies in lieu of flowers.