Verne Troyer visits the Kotel in Jerusalem’s Old City in 2011.
(photo credit: WESTERN WALL HERITAGE FOUNDATION)
The diminutive actor who starred in the Austin Powers movies’ as “Mini-Me,” Verne Troyer, died Saturday at a hospital in Los Angeles. He was 49.
“It is with great sadness and heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today,” his family posted on his Instagram account, noting that he was recently baptized.
The cause of death was not announced, but the family wrote that “depression and suicide are very serious issues.”
“You never know what kind of battle someone is going through inside. But be kind to one another. And always know, it’s never too late to reach out to someone for help,” they said.
Troyer, who was 81 cm. tall, is best known for Austin Powers movies The Spy Who Shagged Me and Austin Power in Goldmember.
He also had the role of the goblin Griphook in the Harry Potter movies.
“I was really taken aback by all the attention suddenly,” he told The Jerusalem Post
before a visit to Israel in 2011. “I never thought anything like that would happen to me, and to this day I kind of forget about it until I go out in public. But I think it’s great. I enjoy my fans a great deal.” Troyer spent five days in the country promoting a TNT children’s clothing advertising campaign he starred in.
Troyer’s height was due to achondroplasia dwarfism, Variety reported. He once said that his parents “never treated me any different than my other average-sized siblings. I used to have to carry wood, feed the cows and pigs and farm animals.”
He was never trained as an actor, but while he was a telephone customer service worker, a friend told him that Hollywood producers were looking for someone to be a stunt double for a baby, Troyer told entertainment news website HollywoodChicago.com.
He had more than 25 other film credits to his name, including roles in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Love Guru and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
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