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BREAKING: Austin Powers and Celebrity Big Brother star Verne Troyer dies aged 49

Actor was admitted to hospital earlier this month

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Hollywood actor Verne Troyer has passed away at the age of 49, according to a statement on his Instagram account, understood to be from his family.

Posted tonight, the comment, alongside a smiling picture of him, begins: “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.”

It continues: “Over the years he’s struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately this time was too much.”

There follows a reference to depression, and a plea for people to seek help if they are struggling.

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. Photo by @paulmobleystudio

A post shared by Verne Troyer (@vernetroyer) on

Earlier this month, a post on Verne’s Instagram account alluded to the actor being unwell, following reports he had been admitted to hospital.

Verne was a popular housemate on CBB (Channel 4/YouTube)

The US star, best known for his role as Mini Me in Austin Powers, also appeared in Celebrity Big Brother in 2009.

Cause of death is yet to be confirmed.