Mike Myers pays tribute to Verne Troyer as Austin Powers co-star dies aged 49

The comic actor called the 2ft 8inch Mini Me actor a 'beacon of positivity' as fans flocked to social media to share their grief and offer their condolences to the star's loved ones.

Myers released a statement which said: "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.”

One fan posted on Twitter: "RIP Verne Troyer!! I can’t believe that he’s passed away!! I am just devastated!!! Night night mini-me!!!"

A second added: "How am I supposed to sleep happy when Verne Troyer has died I am so upset."

Another tweeted: "Oh no Verne Troyer died. I am so sad. RIP sir. You've brought smiles to so many faces including mine."

A fourth said: "I'm shocked and devastated to hear about the death of Verne Troyer. He was so funny in Austin Powers movies. I am so sad. R.I.P."

He was 2ft 8in tall after being born with a condition called achondroplasia dwarfism.

The star's family confirmed the news with a statement on his Instagram page.

"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.

"Verne hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message everyday.

"He inspired people around the world with his drive, determination, and attitude. On film & television sets, commercial shoots, at comic-con’s & personal appearances, to his own YouTube videos, he was there to show everyone what he was capable of doing.

"Even though his stature was small and his parents often wondered if he’d be able to reach up and open doors on his own in his life, he went on to open more doors for himself and others than anyone could have imagined.

"He also touched more peoples hearts than he will ever know.

"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.

"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, 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."

Verne had a glittering Hollywood career starring in blockbuster movies like Austin Powers, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as well as reality shows like Celebrity Big Brother and Wife Swap.

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