Verne Troyer dead: Austin Powers star dies aged 49

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WATCH ABOVE: Actor Verne Troyer has died at the age of 49. – Apr 21, 2018

Verne Troyer, the actor best known for playing the role of Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” movies, has died at the age of 49.

A statement from his family confirmed that Troyer passed away Saturday.

“It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today,” read the statement, which was posted to Troyer’s official Facebook page. The statement added that Troyer had been battling a “time of adversity,” and had recently been baptized.

“Depression and suicide are very serious issues. You never know what kind of battle someone is going through inside.”

TMZ reported that Troyer had possibly been on life support since being rushed to hospital earlier this month over concerns that he was inebriated and acting suicidal.

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Troyer battled alcoholism for years, addressing his struggles in an Instagram post from April last year.

“As you know, I’ve battled alcohol addiction in the past and while it’s not always been an easy fight, I’m willing to continue my fight day by day. I’ve been receiving treatment for the last week and I am voluntarily checking into a treatment centre later this week to continue to get the help that I need,” he wrote.

READ MORE: ‘Austin Powers’ star Verne Troyer hospitalized for alcohol addiction

Born in Sturgis, MI. on New Year’s Day 1969, Troyer had a genetic disorder called achondroplasia dwarfism, which resulted in his height of two feet and eight inches (81 cm).

He has stated 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.”

Troyer began his film career as a stunt performer, appearing in the 1994 flick “Baby’s Day Out” as the Baby Bink’s stunt double, before transitioning to bit-part actor roles in a number of successful films including “Jingle All the Way,” “Men in Black”  and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

However, he broke out as a household name with his turn as Mini-Me in the second installment of the “Austin Powers” series, 1999’s “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.” He would also reprise his role as a miniature version of Mike Myers’ antagonist Dr. Evil in 2002’s “Austin Powers in Goldmember.”

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Myers described Troyer as a “consummate professional” and a “beacon of positivity,” in a statement provided to ET Canada. “It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed,” Myers said.

In addition to his film roles, Troyer also appeared in a number of of TV series, most recently last year’s “Trailer Park Boys: Out of the Park: USA.”

READ MORE: John Mahoney, star of Frasier, dead at 77

Troyer’s family’s statement hailed him for refusing to let his condition get in the way of his dreams, and inspiring others with his journey.

“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,” read the statement.

“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…

“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.”

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