VERNE JAY TROYER
Date of Birth: January 1, 1969
Born in Sturgis, Michigan, Troyer, who measures up at two feet, eight inches, started working as a telephone operator. He then joined the customer service department of a phone company. He began working in the film industry as a stunt double. His first film was Baby's Day Out (1994) followed by Jingle All the Way (1996) where he wrestles Arnold Schwarznegger as a small Santa, and My Giant (1998).
His experience in stunt work paid off when he joined the cast of Austin Powers, The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999). Originally, the film's director Jay Roach, and Mike Myers didn't believe they would be able to find a little person small enough to play Mini-Me and at one point even considered casting a child. Then the film's casting directors talked to a friend who was a producer of a McDonald's video series in which Troyer played a dog. The producer suggested that the casting directors and Roach meet Troyer.
Troyer's Mini-Me was originally only supposed to be a bit part, but Roach soon discovered Troyer's talents in action, improvising and acting. "They saw what I was able to do in the film and just expanded my character so much because they liked what I was able to do."
With the success of the Austin Powers film, Troyer became an instant celebrity with fans and Hollywood opportunities falling at his feet. He soon found work in such big budget films as How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), Bubble Boy (2001), and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001), as well as returning to the Mini-Me character in the third instalment of the Austin Powers films, Goldmember (2002).
Troyer also worked on television, including regular roles as Ferbus Stunts in Masked Rider, and Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte in Jack of All Trades. He has also made numerous guest appearances on the series Young Hercules, V.I.P., and Freedom.
He died on April 21, 2018 at the age of 49 from alcohol poisoning.
Filmography:Gnome Alone (2015)