Standing just two foot, eight inches tall, Verne Troyer was an American Comic, Actor and Stuntman best known for his role as “Mini Me” in the Austin Powers films.
Born in Michigan into a family of average size, Troyer had a rare form of dwarfism which saw him become one of shortest people in the world.
Despite his height and having almost died as a young child, Troyer’s parents treated him in the same way as his two siblings with daily chores which would include carrying wood and feeding animals.
During his school years he was a popular classmate known as something of a prankster and when graduating in 1987 was crowned Prom King.
Shortly after he moved to Texas with his brother and it was around this time when watching the film “Willow” he was inspired that one day he too may be able to pursue a carrer in acting.
Hollywood essentially came looking for Verne in the early 90’s when seeking a stunt double for a baby in the film “Baby’s Day Out’. This then led to further roles including “Jingle All The Way” (1996), Men in Black (1997) and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (1998)
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
His role as Dr. Evil’s miniature side kick in “Austin Powers: They Spy Who Shagged Me” propelled Troyer to almost instant, worldwide fame.
Speaking after his death, friend and co-star Mike Myers said how Vern’s performance had taken the character Mini Me “off the page” and how during the filming they had developed the role much further.
Vern’s execution of the role led to a rewriting of the script since Mini Me was originally killed off toward the end of the film.
In 2000 Troyer and Mike Myers were awarded the MTV Movie Award for “Best On-Screen Duo”
Film, TV & Internet
Subsequent film roles saw Troyer play Griphook the Goblin in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (2001) and Percy in “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” (2009).
His last role came as Emperor Beezel-Chugg in the 2018 clowns-versus-aliens comedy “Hipsters, Gangsters, Aliens and Geeks”.
In addition to his appearances on screen, Verne also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother and was a regular on British panel show “Celebrity Juice”.
An entertaining look into his everyday life Vern’s You Tube channel accrued a large following of over half a million subscribers. Highlights below include a tour of his house and his coveted recipe for Peanut Butter, Jelly & Egg Sandwiches.
Over the years Verne openly acknowledged his battles with alcoholism and just over a year before his death had looked to reassure his fans and thank them for their continued support.
In the months that followed Verne appeared to have turned a corner on his YouTube channel. Sadly, having been admitted to hospital in the weeks prior, on April 21 2018 Vern’s family announced his passing.
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.
Verne was a Global Ambassador of Best Buddies a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He also worked closely with The Starkey Hearing Foundation who provide hearing aids to people in need throughout the U.S. and around the world. Whilst Verne was a supporter of many good causes it is these two charities which his family mentioned they would like support in lieu of flowers.