Verne Jay Troyer, born January 1, 1969, and died April 21, 2018, was an American actor, stunt performer, and comedian best known for playing Mini-Me in the Austin Powers movie series. He was notable for having been only 2’8” tall, which was a result of cartilage-hair hypoplasia. Take a look below for 25 more interesting and fascinating facts about Verne Troyer.
1. Troyer was one of the shortest men in the world.
2. He was born in Sturgis, Michigan, the son of Susan, a factory worker, and Reuben Troyer, a repair technician.
3. He had two siblings, Davon and Deborah.
4. Troyer has 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.”
5. Troyer was initially raised Amish, but his parents left the faith when he was a child.
6. During his childhood, Troyer spent a lot of time visiting his Amish relatives in Centreville, Michigan.
7. He graduated from Centreville High School in 1987 and a plaque was dedicated to him in 2003.
8. He threw out the first ball at the San Diego Padre vs. Los Angeles Dodger game on June 30, 1999.
9. Verne and his yoga instructor and girlfriend, Genevieve Gallen, wed in January, 2004. The wedding was annulled a month later.
10. Troyer had to do all of his own stunts because there wasn’t anyone small enough to fill in.
11. Troyer loved college football. His favorite team was the Michigan Wolverines. He has said his second favorite team is, “whoever’s playing Notre Dame.”
12. Troyer and his date were voted King and Queen at their high school prom.
13. He was acting as a celebrity spokesman in a Geico auto insurance commercial.
14. While both sides of Troyer’s family had lived in the United States since the 1700s, his background was still entirely of German descent, wit an Amish family background. The Troyer family originates in Emmental, Bern, Switzerland.
15. In early April 2018, Troyer was admitted to a hospital after an incident in his home. He had previously been admitted to rehab to undergo treatment for alcoholism. It was announced on April 21, 2018, that Troyer had died at the age of 49.
16. He dated Brittney Powell for 11 years, from 2007 to April 2018.
17. Troyer’s film career began when a former president of Little People of American contacted him, looking for someone of a “certain size” to serve as a sunt double for the infant character “Baby Bink” in John Hughes’ movie Baby’s Day Out.
18. Troyer 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, Men in Black and My Giant.
19. Mike Myers was so impressed with Troyer when he met him that he rewrote the script for Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me to give Mini-Me more screen time and remove the character’s death.
20. After reaching a large audience as Mini-Me, Troyer portrayed the goblin Griphook in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
21. Troyer made several appearance as himself in reality television series, including The Surreal Life, Welcome to Sweden, and the sixth series of the British Celebrity Big Brother.
22. He played the role of Percy in Terry Gilliam’s fantasy movie The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
23. On June 25, 2008, a private home video was leaked of Troyer and his former live-in girlfriend, Ranae Shrider, having sex.
24. In May 2015, Troyer, his girlfriend Brittney Powell, and her son Tyson, appeared on Celebrity Wife Swap, where she switched places with Hines Ward’s wife.
25. Due to the leaking of his sex tape with Ranae Shrider, Troyer, through his long-time attorney, Ed McPherson, sued TMZ, Blatt and the online rental company SugarDVD, for invasion of privacy and copyright infringement.