Verne Troyer, actor who played Mini Me in Austin Powers dies aged 49, after struggle with alcoholism and depression

A statement on his Instagram Saturday afternoon said Troyer, who was admitted to hospital last week when he was drunk and suicidal, has struggled with depression and alcoholism.  


                            Verne Troyer, actor who played Mini Me in Austin Powers dies aged 49, after struggle with alcoholism and depression
Verne Troyer and Mike Myers (Getty Images)

Actor Verne Troyer, who played Mini Me in the Austin Powers films, has died aged 49.

A statement on his Instagram Saturday afternoon said Troyer, who was admitted to hospital last week when he was drunk and suicidal, has struggled with depression and alcoholism.  

"It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today," they said. 

His death comes one year after the star was checked into rehab to recover from alcohol abuse.

He was notable for his height of 2 ft 8 in (81 cm), the result of achondroplasia dwarfism, making him one of the shortest men in the world.

He was best known for playing Mini-Me in the Austin Powers series of comedy films, and for his brief appearance as Griphook the goblin in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Since 2014, Troyer had appeared as "The Boss" in adverts for gambling site Bgo.com telling people to "Come and Beat Me" and "You Can't Beat This".

 

Verne Troyer (Getty Images)

The Instagram post read:

"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.'