Actor Verne Troyer, best known for playing Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” series, died Saturday at age 49, according to a statement on his official Facebook page.
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.”
The comedic actor and stunt performer starred in dozens of films throughout his career, including “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” as Griphook the goblin. He also appeared in television shows like “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and “Boston Public.”
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. He 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.”
“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 had struggled with alcohol abuse issues for years. He was hospitalized earlier this month to receive treatment, according to TMZ. The cause of his death has not yet been released, but the statement on his Facebook page noted the actor’s struggle with addiction and mental health.
“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.
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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.