Verne Troyer, best known as Dr. Evil's beloved sidekick Mini-Me, passed away earlier today. He was just forty-nine-years-old, though he'd been suffering from a combination of health problems and battles with addiction over the past several years of his life.
Details about what exactly happened are still emerging. Earlier this month, he was allegedly rushed to the hospital and treated for alcohol poisoning in what may have been a drunken suicide attempt. Sources close to TMZ are saying the actor remained in the hospital on life support since that earlier incident, but none of that has been confirmed by the family or authorities.
Those close to Troyer did, however, publish a very touching letter on his Facebook account. You can read it in its entirety below...
Most actors spend their entire lives looking for one role that really connects with audiences. After a series of stunt jobs and small acting roles, Verne Troyer found his role of a lifetime in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. In the film, he plays a miniature clone of super villain Dr. Evil, and fans took to it immediately. He quickly became perhaps the best loved part of the utterly ridiculous cinematic universe. He later appeared in the less well-received sequel and in between additional acting jobs, made numerous television appearances as himself.
You can check out Troyer's first appearance as Mini-Me in the clip below...
Troyer was born with achondroplasia dwarfism, which limited his height to two feet, eight inches. He was initially raised in an Amish community, but his parents left not long after he was born. By all accounts, he was treated the same as his siblings and worked on the family farm in Michigan. At the age of twenty-five, he snagged his first acting role. He later picked up small parts in Men In Black, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas and My Giant, among others. At thirty, he was cast in the Austin Powers sequel, and the rest is history.
Our thoughts go out to Verne Troyer's entire family, as well as all of those who were touched by his life. He was reportedly a funny man with a big heart in real life too. He will be missed.