Mike Myers is remembering his Mini-Me.
Following the news of Verne Troyer’s death, the actor, 54, paid tribute to his Austin Powers costar.
“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,” Myers said in a statement obtained by Entertainment Weekly on Saturday.
Troyer’s big acting break came in 1999 with the role of Mini-Me in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, for which he portrayed a misbehaving version of Myers’ character Dr. Evil. Troyer also reprised his role in the 2002 sequel, Austin Powers in Goldmember.
Troyer’s family confirmed his death on Instagram and Facebook Saturday. He was 49.
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“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,” his family said.
No cause of death was revealed.
On April 2, Troyer, who was born with achondroplasia dwarfism which caused him to stop growing at 2’8″, was rushed to the hospital for a “reported poisoning.” The Los Angeles City Fire Department confirmed to PEOPLE that they were called to the actor’s North Hollywood home. Law enforcement sources told TMZ that Troyer was “extremely upset, drunk and suicidal.”
In Saturday’s statement, Troyer’s family wrote: “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.”
In lieu of flowers, the family asked for donations to be made to two charities, The Starkey Hearing Foundation and Best Buddies, in Troyer’s name.
Other stars who expressed their condolences include Ludacris and Marlee Matlin.