Verne Troyer, who played Mini-Me in two of the “Austin Powers” comedy films, has died at the age of 49, according to statements posted to his social media accounts Saturday.
Troyer was 49. No cause of death was immediately released.
“Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh,” a statement posted to his social media said. “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 every day.”
Troyer, who was reportedly 2 feet, 8 inches tall, once joked with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that after gaining fame as Mini-Me he would go out in public with a hat and sunglasses on, “but it just doesn’t seem to work.”
According to the Internet Movie Database, Troyer was in 58 movies and television shows.
He played Mini-Me, the diminutive clone of Mike Myers’ Dr. Evil, in “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” and “Austin Powers in Goldmember.”
Troyer told Oprah Winfrey in 2016 that the character wasn’t initially supposed to be in the film much.
“I had no idea how famous this character was going to be,” he said. “Once we started rehearsal, Mike (Myers) kept adding more parts.”
Mini-Me died in an early version of the “Spy Who Shagged Me” but a crowd at a test screening became upset, Troyer said, so they reshot some scenes.
Mini-Me didn’t talk during the movies but sometimes let out a squeal or mimicked what Dr. Evil was doing.
The statement announcing his death said he had undergone a “recent time of adversity.”
“Verne was also a fighter when it came to his own battles,” the statement added. “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 told people to be kind.
“Depression and suicide are very serious issues. You never know what kind of battle someone is going through inside,” it said. “And always know, it’s never too late to reach out to someone for help.”
Troyer once told British talk show host Jonathan Ross that he had a rare type of dwarfism called cartilage-hair hypoplasia.
He told Ross he used his height to his advantage. He broke into entertainment as the stunt double for a 9-month-old baby in the 1994 film “Baby’s Day Out.”
He also appeared as Mini-Me in music videos.
Rapper Ludacris posted a photo to Instagram, writing: “R.I.P. Verne Troyer aka Mini Me. You made it to that #1 Spot Glad we got to make history together. #goontosoon #love.”
Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee tweeted: “Gonna miss my lil buddy! @VerneTroyer RIP homie the whole world’s gonna miss you!”