Verne Troyer, best known for his portrayal of Mini-Me in the successful Austin Powers franchise, has died. The actor was 49.
The news was announced on Troyer's official Facebook page on Saturday (April 21). "It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today," the statement read. "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."
A cause of death is not yet known, but the statement does reference the actor's own battles with depression and addiction. "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," it read. "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."
Earlier this month, Troyer was hospitalized for potential alcohol poisoning and placed on a mandatory psychiatric hold for suicidal thoughts. The actor had battled alcoholism for years. Most recently, in April 2017 he checked himself into another rehab for alcohol addiction, a painful cycle he never managed to break.
Though most known for his scene-stealing, breakout role as Dr. Evil's sidekick in Mike Myers's Austin Powers films — which earned him and the comedian the MTV Movie Award in 2000 — Troyer truly made his mark on Hollywood, appearing in films like Men in Black, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Love Guru, and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, Myers said, "Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honor of working with him. It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed."
The statement asks that those who wish to celebrate Troyer's life make a donation to his favorite charities, the Starkey Hearing Foundation and Best Buddies, in lieu of sending flowers.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, there are ways to get help. Find resources at halfofus.com or call 1-800-273-TALK for a confidential conversation.