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Verne Jay Troyer (January 1, 1969 – April 21, 2018) was an American actor, comedian, and stunt performer best known for playing Mini-Me in the Austin Powers film series. He was notable for having been only 2 ft 8 in (81 cm) tall, the result of cartilage–hair hypoplasia; this made him one of the shortest men in the world. Troyer was born in Sturgis, Michigan, the son of Susan, a factory worker, and Reuben Troyer, a repair technician. He had two siblings, Davon and Deborah. He stated that his parents "never treated me any different than my other average-sized siblings. I used to have to carry wood, feed the cows and pigs and farm animals". Troyer was initially raised Amish, but his parents left the faith when he was a child. During his childhood, Troyer spent much time visiting Amish relatives in Centreville, Michigan. He graduated from Centreville High School in 1987, and a plaque was dedicated to him in 2003.
Troyer at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo Sydney, Australia in 2012
Verne Jay Troyer
(1969-01-01)January 1, 1969
Sturgis, Michigan, U.S.
|Died||April 21, 2018(2018-04-21) (aged 49)|
|Cause of death||Suicide by alcohol poisoning|
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, stunt performer|
(m. 2004; annulled 2004)
|Partner(s)||Brittney Powell (2007–2018)|
Verne Jay Troyer (January 1, 1969 – April 21, 2018) was an American actor, comedian, and stunt performer best known for playing Mini-Me in the Austin Powers film series. He was notable for having been only 2 ft 8 in (81 cm) tall, the result of cartilage–hair hypoplasia; this made him one of the shortest men in the world.
Troyer was born in Sturgis, Michigan, the son of Susan, a factory worker, and Reuben Troyer, a repair technician. He had two siblings, Davon and Deborah. He stated that his parents "never treated me any different than my other average-sized siblings. I used to have to carry wood, feed the cows and pigs and farm animals". Troyer was initially raised Amish, but his parents left the faith when he was a child. During his childhood, Troyer spent much time visiting Amish relatives in Centreville, Michigan. He graduated from Centreville High School in 1987, and a plaque was dedicated to him in 2003.
Troyer's film career began when a former president of Little People of America contacted him, looking for someone of a "certain size" to serve as a stunt double for the infant character "Baby Bink" in John Hughes' film Baby's Day Out (1994). He gained further work as a stunt double with some minor comedic roles in several films of the 1990s, including Dunston Checks In, Jingle All the Way (both 1996), Men in Black (1997), and My Giant (1998).
Troyer first met with Jay Roach to discuss portraying Mini-Me in the Austin Powers series, directed by Roach and starring co-creator Mike Myers, before filming for the series' second film began. Myers was impressed with Troyer's performance, rewriting the script for Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) to give Mini-Me more screen time and remove the character's death. Troyer reprised the role three years later in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), and collaborated again with Myers on The Love Guru (2008).
After reaching a large audience as Mini-Me, Troyer portrayed the goblin Griphook in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), and played the role of Percy in Terry Gilliam's fantasy film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009). He also made several appearances as himself in reality television series, including The Surreal Life (2005), Welcome to Sweden (2007), and the sixth series of the British Celebrity Big Brother (2009).
On June 25, 2008, a private home video was leaked of Troyer and his former live-in girlfriend, Ranae Shrider, having sex. The video, filmed in 2008 in Beverly Hills, California, and Shrider's hometown of Fort Cobb, Oklahoma, was leaked to the public by Shrider and TMZ. Kevin Blatt, the man responsible for brokering the deal for Paris Hilton's sex tape in 2003, tried to sell the video. Troyer, through his long-time attorney, Ed McPherson, sued TMZ, Blatt, and online rental company SugarDVD, for invasion of privacy and copyright infringement.
On April 21, 2018, Troyer died at the age of 49. No cause was immediately released. His death was reported as a possible suicide to the coroner, who found very high alcohol levels in his body, suggesting and later confirming alcohol poisoning as the cause. His death was later ruled a suicide. He was cremated and his ashes were inurned in a niche at Colon United Methodist Church Colombariam in Colon, St. Joseph County, Michigan.
|1994||Baby's Day Out||Baby Bink's stunt double|
|1996||Dunston Checks In|
|1996||Jingle All the Way||Little Santa|
|1996||Pinocchio's Revenge||Pinocchio's Miniature Double|
|1997||Men in Black||Alien Son|
|1997||Wishmaster||Creature Stage #1|
|1998||Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas||Wee Waiter||Billed as "Verne J. Troya"|
|1998||The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald||Sundae||Direct-to-video
Voice by Dee Bradley Baker
|1998||Mighty Joe Young||Baby Joe|
|1999||Here Lies Lonely||Virgil|
|1999||Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me||Mini-Me|
|2000||Bit Players||Marty Rosenthal|
|2000||How the Grinch Stole Christmas||Band Member|
|2001||Bubble Boy||Dr Phreak|
|2001||Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone||Griphook||Voice by Warwick Davis|
|2002||Run for the Money||Attila|
|2002||Austin Powers in Goldmember||Mini-Me|
|2003||Pauly Shore Is Dead||Himself|
|2008||The Love Guru||Coach Punch Cherkov|
|2009||The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus||Percy|
|2012||Keith Lemon: The Film||Archimedes|
|2015||Trailer Park Boys: Drunk, High, and Unemployed: Live in Austin||Himself|
|2015||Gnome Alone||The Gnome|
|2018||Hipsters, Gangsters, Aliens and Geeks||?||Post-production|
|2000||Jack of All Trades||Napoleon Bonaparte|
|2002||Sabrina the Teenage Witch||Angus|
|2003||Boston Public||Taylor Prentice||2 episodes|
|2005||The Girls Next Door||Himself||episode "Fight Night"|
|2005||The Surreal Life||Himself|
|2006||Bo! in the USA|
|2007||The Surreal Life: Fame Games||Himself|
|2007||Welcome to Sweden||Himself|
|2008||The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest...||Commentator|
|2008||The Podge and Rodge Show||Himself|
|2009||Celebrity Big Brother||Himself|
|2009||Friday Night with Jonathan Ross||Himself|
|2009||The Paul O'Grady Show||Himself|
|2009||WWE Raw||Guest host|
|2013||Lemon La Vida Loca||Himself|
|2014||BGO.com TV Campaign|
|2014||Whose Line Is It Anyway?||Himself||Season 10, episode 3|
|2014||Through the Keyhole||Himself|
|2015||Celebrity Wife Swap||Himself|
|2017||Trailer Park Boys: Out of the Park: USA||Himself|
|1999||Madonna||Beautiful Stranger||Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me|
|2005||Ludacris||Number One Spot||The Red Light District|
|2014||Steve Aoki featuring will.i.am||Born to Get Wild||Neon Future I|
|2016||Let It Die||Jackal X|
|Best On-Screen Duo|
|Best On-Screen Team|