We’ve had several celebrity deaths this month, including Night Court star Harry Anderson, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest director Miloš Forman, Full Metal Jacket’s R. Lee Ermey, and Swedish electronic musician Avicii. Now sad news has come that Verne Troyer, who played Mini-Me in the Austin Powers movie franchise, has passed away at 49.
Troyer, who apparently had a long battle with depression and alcoholism, had been admitted to a hospital last week for allegedly feeling suicidal as well as possible alcohol poisoning.
Though no cause of death was immediately given, a message on his Facebook page made general statements regarding suicide and depression, and indicated that he had been recently baptized surrounded by his family:
“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…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 was born with with achondroplasia dwarfism to an Amish family, and got his first big break as a stunt man in the movie Baby’s Day Out in 1994. In 1999 he rose to super-stardom in the film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, playing Dr. Evil clone Mini-Me.
Said Troyer’s Austin Powers co-star Mike Myers: “Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honor of working with him. It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed.”
Myers recently dusted off the character of Dr. Evil for a sketch on The Tonight Show.