Verne Troyer, “Austin Powers” actor, dies at 49

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Verne Troyer, best known for his role as Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” films, has died at the age of 49, TMZ reported.

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It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today. Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible. Verne hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message everyday. He inspired people around the world with his drive, determination, and attitude. On film & television sets, commercial shoots, at comic-con’s & personal appearances, to his own YouTube videos, he was there to show everyone what he was capable of doing. 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. He also touched more peoples hearts than he will ever know. 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. During this recent time of adversity he was baptized while surrounded by his family. The family appreciates that they have this time to grieve privately. 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. In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make a donation in Verne’s name to either of his two favorite charities; The Starkey Hearing Foundation and Best Buddies. Photo by @paulmobleystudio

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Verne Troyer attends the world premiere of “BOO! A Madea Halloween” held at ArcLight Cinerama Dome on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Salangsang/Invision/AP)

TMZ said Troyer died Saturday, according to a statement from his family. He was reportedly placed on some form of life support earlier this month, after being treated for possible alcohol poisoning.

Troyer battled alcoholism for years, with multiple stints in rehab.

Troyer’s genetic disorder, known as achondroplasia dwarfism, made him one of the shortest men in the world.

Troyer said in an interview with The Guardian he was born into an Amish family, but his parents left the community when he was a child. He said his parents treated him no differently because of his height, having to work on the farm and do chores with his siblings.

“My parents taught me to be optimistic and independent,” Troyer said. “They made me feel that I could do anything I set my mind to, which has really helped me. They didn’t make allowances for me because of my height. I had to do everything my brother and sister had to do, including raising our animal menagerie that included cows and chickens.”

Troyer’s breakout role came in 1999’s “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.” He later appeared in several reality shows.

Troyer was 49 years old.

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