Verne Troyer, Mini-Me actor, dies aged 49

The Austin Powers actor's death was announced on Saturday

Verne Troyer, the actor who played the unforgettable role of Mini-Me, has passed away at the age of 49. Sad news of his death was announced via social media on Saturday after he had been admitted to hospital earlier this month. The actor, who was 2ft 8in tall, found fame starring opposite Mike Myers in hit spy spoof movie Austin Powers. A statement was posted on Facebook by his family who confirmed he had passed away earlier in the day.

"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."

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"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," the statement continued, referring to the actor's battle with alcohol addiction previously. "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."

Verne Troyer was admitted to hospital earlier this month

While the actor's cause of death was not mentioned, the statment spoke about mental health. "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's hospitalisation earlier this month caused fans to be extremely worried, especially when a message requesting the star be kept in thoughts and prayers was published on his publicist's Instagram account. "Asking you to keep Verne in your thoughts," the message read. "He's getting the best care possible and rest comfortably. Appreciate the support from family, friends and fans around the world. We will keep you updated on here."

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Speaking to the Guardian in 2015, Verne revealed his incredible acting success was partly thanks to his parents' influence, bringing him up to believe he could achieve anything he wanted. "My parents taught me to be optimistic and independent," he said. "They made me feel that I could do anything I set my mind to, which has really helped me. They didn’t make allowances for me because of my height. I had to do everything my brother and sister had to do, including raising our animal menagerie that included cows and chickens."

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