Jamaica Gleaner / Verne Troyer, the American actor best known for playing Mini-Me in the ‘Austin Powers’ movie franchise and one of the shortest men in the world, has died.
He was 49 years old.
News of Troyer’s death was posted to his Instagram account a short time ago.
“It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts we write that Verne passed away today,” the post read.
Troyer was born in the state of Michigan with the genetic disorder known as Achondroplasia Dwarfism, but said growing up on a farm he was never treated differently by his parents than his average-sized siblings.
He began his Hollywood career in 1994 as a stunt double for Baby Bink in the film “Baby’s Day Out.”
Troyer had small roles in “Men in Black” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” before making it big as Mini-Me in “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me”, which was released in 1999.
For years, he struggled with alcoholism, which caused him to enter rehab several times.
Despite this, the statement posted to his Instagram account said Troyer inspired people around the world with his determination, and attitude.
“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.