Verne Troyer, the actor best known for his role as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers movie series died Saturday at the age of 49.
His death was confirmed via statements on Troyer’s social media accounts.
"It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today," the family wrote.
Troyer was born with achondroplasia dwarfism and was one of the shortest people in the world at just 2 feet, 8 inches tall.
His career as an actor began in 1994, but took off when he landed a role as Dr. Evil’s sidekick, Mini-Me, in the 1999 film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and then the 2002 flick Austin Powers in Goldmember.
"Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honor of working with him," Austin Powers star Mike Myers said in a statement, The New York Daily News reports. "It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed."
Here are five things we know about the actor's untimely death:
1. No official cause of death has been released.
An autopsy is scheduled for later this week, which will determine Troyer’s official cause of death.
His family hinted that he may have committed suicide via social media posts.
"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," they wrote.
Troyer’s family encouraged others to reach out and be kind to everyone. You never know what they are going through, they said.
“Depression and Suicide are very serious issues,” the post continued. “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.”
The same message was written on Troyer’s Facebook page.
2. He had checked into rehab last year for alcoholism.
Troyer was hospitalized last year due to his alcoholism. He was reportedly at a San Fernando Valley hospital for nearly two weeks before he decided it was time to check himself into a rehab center to overcome his struggle with the substance, according to TMZ.
"With your support, I got this,” he told fans.
He had gone to rehab multiple times following his near-death experience due to alcohol poisoning in 2002.
“I've battled alcohol addiction in the past and while it's not always been an easy fight, I'm willing to continue my fight day by day,” he said last April.
3. He was hospitalized just a month before his death.
Friends of Troyer called authorities on his behalf, stating that the actor was drunk, upset, and suicidal, TMZ reported in April.
Troyer was brought to a hospital for possible alcohol poisoning and then held for 72 hours for evaluation.
This occurred almost exactly a year after he admitted himself into rehab.
4. Many people with dwarfism struggle with substance abuse and depression.
Although the Little People of America states that those with dwarfism aren’t predisposed to substance abuse, many do struggle with alcoholism or drugs, especially those who pursue a career in Hollywood, Fox News reports.
Henry Nasiff Jr., also known as the "Angry Drunken Dwarf" on The Howard Stern Show, died as a result of his ethanol abuse.
The news outlet also writes that the first little person to star in his own TV series, David Rappaport, committed suicide. His friends and family were unaware he was even depressed, let alone suicidal.
Fantasy Island star Herve Villechaize, known as Tattoo, took his own life after struggling with his condition for years.
5. Troyer’s family has asked that people donate to his favorite charities instead of sending flowers.
Verne Troyer touched the hearts of many and it is with extreme sadness that we offer our condolences to his family and friends. We were so lucky to have known Verne and are unbelievably touched by his generosity. He will truly be missed and forever remembered. https://t.co/AXVLFu5OGG
— Starkey Hearing Foundation (@starkeycares) April 21, 2018
The post written by Troyer’s family states that they would rather people donate to charities he was fond of than send flowers.
“In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make a donation in Verne’s name to either of his two favorite charities: The Starkey Hearing Foundation and Best Buddies.”
The Starkey Hearing Foundation released a statement regarding the actor’s death.
“Verne Troyer touched the hearts of many and it is with extreme sadness that we offer our condolences to his family and friends,” it reads. “We were so lucky to have known Verne and are unbelievably touched by his generosity. He will truly be missed and forever remembered.”