Verne Troyer, from 'Austin Pow­ers' films, re­port­edly com­mits sui­cide

South Florida Times - - OBITUARIES - By AN­DREW DAL­TON AP En­ter­tain­ment Writer

LOS AN­GE­LES (AP) - Verne Troyer, who played Dr. Evil's small, silent side­kick “Mini-Me'' in the “Austin Pow­ers'' movie fran­chise, has died. He was 49.

A state­ment pro­vided by Troyer's rep­re­sen­ta­tives that was also posted to his In­sta­gram and Face­book ac­counts said the ac­tor died Sat­ur­day.

No cause of death was given, but the state­ment de­scribes Troyer as a “fighter'' who was un­able to over­come a re­cent bout of adversity then goes on to dis­cuss de­pres­sion and sui­cide.

“Over the years he's strug­gled and won, strug­gled and won, strug­gled and fought some more, but un­for­tu­nately this time was too much,'' 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.''

Troyer be­came a celebrity and pop-cul­ture phe­nom­e­non af­ter star­ring along­side Mike Myers as “Mini-Me,'' the tiny, hair­less clone of vil­lain Dr. Evil in two of the three “Austin Pow­ers'' films.

“Verne was the con­sum­mate pro­fes­sional and a bea­con of pos­i­tiv­ity for those of us who had the honor of work­ing with him,'' 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 ap­peared in 1999's “Austin Pow­ers: The Spy Who Shagged Me'' and 2002's “Austin Pow­ers in Gold­mem­ber,'' in which “Mini-Me'' switches sides and be­comes a minia­ture ver­sion of Pow­ers. Both hero and vil­lain were played by Myers, who also put Troyer in his 2008 film “The Love Guru.''

He also played the banker gob­lin Griphook in 2001's “Harry Pot­ter and the Sorcerer's Stone'' and ap­peared on dozens of TV shows in­clud­ing “Bos­ton Pub­lic,'' “Sab­rina the Teenage Witch'' and “MADtv.'' Troyer was born in 1969 in Stur­gis, Michi­gan with achon­dropla­sia, a ge­netic con­di­tion that kept him less than 3 feet tall.

“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,'' the state­ment said. “He in­spired peo­ple around the world with his drive, de­ter­mi­na­tion, and at­ti­tude. . . He also touched more peo­ple's hearts than he will ever know.''

Troyer was bap­tized, sur­rounded by his fam­ily dur­ing his re­cent strug­gles, the state­ment said. No place of death was given, but he lived in Los An­ge­les.

Ac­tress Mar­lee Matlin was among those who paid trib­ute on Twit­ter, post­ing a pic­ture of him and say­ing he worked with her to raise money for free hear­ing aids for the deaf and hard-of-hear­ing.

“So sad to read of the pass­ing of Verne Troyer,'' Matlin tweeted, say­ing Troyer had a “lovely smile with a car­ing and big heart.''

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF TRENDOLIZER

BIG TAL­ENT: Al­though tiny in stature, ac­tor Verne Troyer is be­ing re­mem­bered for his big tal­ents. He re­port­edly com­mit­ted sui­cide April 21 at age 49.

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