PROFILE
Name:
Verne Troyer
Birth Date:
January 1, 1969
Birth Place:
Sturgis, Michigan, USA
Height:
2' 8" (0.81 m)
Nationality:
American
Famous for:
His role as Mini-Me in 'Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me' (1999)
BIOGRAPHY
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Mini-Me

Background:

"I hate to be picked up and handled like a child. I am a grown man, for God's sake, and men and women alike think that it is just the cutest thing to tote me around. You would think that people would think before they start handling adults." Verne Troyer

Standing at two feet, eight inches, Verne Troyer started out as a stunt double, often portraying animals or small children in films like "Baby's Day Out" (1994), "Jingle All the Way" (1996), "RocketMan" (1997), "Pinocchio's Revenge" (1996), "My Giant" (1998), "Mighty Joe Young" (1998) and "Instinct" (1999), before landing the star-making role of Mini-Me, the diminutive sidekick/clone and evil protégé to Mike Myers' Dr. Evil, in the box office hits "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" (1999) and "Austin Powers in Goldmember" (2002).

He continues to add to his resume roles in such films as "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000), "Bubble Boy" (2001) and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001), in which he portrayed Griphook the Goblin. He will next be seen in the upcoming films "The Love Guru" and "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus."

On the small screen, TV viewers could catch the small performer in the UPN half-hour sitcom "Shasta McNasty" (1999-2000) and played the recurring role of Napoleon Bonaparte in the syndicated comedy/action series "Jack of All Trades" (2000). He also guest-starred in "Young Hercules," "V.I.P.," "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," "Boston Public" and "Half & Half."


Michigan Wolverines Fan

Childhood and Family:

Born in Sturgis, Michigan, on January 1, 1969, Verne Jay Troyer was raised in Centreville. Son to average-sized parents Susan, a factory worker, and Reuben Troyer, a repairman, Verne has two siblings, Davon (born in 1968) and Deborah Troyer.

In 1987, Verne graduated from Centreville High School where he and his date were voted king and queen at the prom. In 2003, he became engaged to his yoga instructor/girlfriend, Genevieve Gallen. They were married on January 22, 2004, but Verne filed for an annulment on February 23, 2004. They were in the process of a divorce as of fall 2006.

Verne loves college football and his favorite team is the Michigan Wolverines. On opening day at the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers game in 1999, he threw the first pitch, but not from the pitcher's mound. He also loves to play video games in his spare time. He is best friends with Phil Fondacaro, who is married to his agent, Elena Bertagnolli of Fonolli Management.

A frequent guest of Hugh Heffner's at the Playboy mansion, Verne fights a public battle with alcohol addiction.

On a more positive note, Verne has donated a lot of his time, energy and money to various charity organizations.


Austin Powers

Career:

Having always dreamed of getting into show business, Verne Troyer moved with some friends to Arlington, Texas, soon after his high school graduation in 1987 and started working as a telephone operator before joining the customer service department. The tiny aspiring actor began working in the film industry as a stunt double and was a stunt double for a 9-month-old baby in director Patrick Read Johnson's comedy-adventure movie “Baby's Day Out” (1994; starring Joe Mantegna, Lara Flynn Boyle, and Joe Pantoliano) when he was 20 years old.

He followed it up as a stunt double for Paul Pistore's Ferbus, the furry animal with a beak, in the American adaptation of the Japanese television series "Kamen Rider Black RX," "Masked Rider," which aired on FOX as part of the Fox Kids program block from September 16, 1995, to August 31, 1996.

Over the next few years, Troyer was a stuntman who often portrayed animals or small children and was seen in Ken Kwapis' family comedy "Dunston Checks In" (1996; starring Jason Alexander and Faye Dunaway), Brian Levant's Christmas movie "Jingle All the Way" (1996; starring Arnold Schwarzenegger), Mick Jackson's disaster movie "Volcano" (1997; starring Tommy Lee Jones), Stuart Gillard's comedy "RocketMan" (1997; starring Harland Williams) and Michael Lehmann's drama/comedy "My Giant" (1998; starring Billy Crystal), in which he also had an unaccredited role as a wrestler.

Troyer was the Pinocchio double in writer/director Kevin Tenney's horror film "Pinocchio's Revenge" (1996; starring Rosalind Allen). He then appeared as an alien son in Barry Sonnenfeld's science fiction comedy action film based on the comic book series by Lowell Cunningham, "Men in Black" (1997; starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith), and as a creature in the Robert Kurtzman-directed horror film, "Wes Craven's Wishmaster" (1997; starring Tammy Lauren and Andrew Divoff).

He also played a waiter in Terry Gilliam's adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's 1971 novel, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" (1998; starring Johnny Depp, Benicio del Toro, and Christina Ricci), a dog named Sundae in John Holmquist's animated movie "The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: Scared Silly" (1998; V), baby Joe in Ron Underwood's adventure movie "Mighty Joe Young" (1998; starring Bill Paxton and Charlize Theron), and the gorilla performer in Jon Turteltaub's jungle-set thriller, "Instinct" (1999; starring Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding Jr.). Additionally, he appeared as Baby Ruff in an October 1998 episode of Fox Kids Network's spin-off from "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys," "Young Hercules."

1999 was Troyer's breakthrough year when he was cast as Dr. Evil's (played by Mike Myers) clone, Mini-Me, in Jay Roach's smash hit action/comedy movie "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me," the second film in the "Austin Powers" series. His performance in the film earned him a Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination for Favorite Supporting Actor – Comedy and a MTV Movie Award nomination for Best Fight. He also took home a MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo.

On the small screen, TV viewers could catch Troyer starring in the UPN half-hour sitcom "Shasta McNasty" (later "Shasta"). He was spotted as a guest in an episode of the syndicated comedy starring Pamela Anderson, "V.I.P." and played the recurring role of Napoleon Bonaparte in the half-hour long syndicated comedy/action television series "Jack of All Trades" (2000; starring Bruce Campbell). He also guest starred in the TV game show "Electric Playground," the short-lived UPN action series "Freedom," the ABC/WB sitcom based on the Archie comic book series, "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," FOX’s teen drama "Boston Public," and UPN’s sitcom "Half & Half."

Troyer spoofed Tom Cruise's “Mission Impossible” character Ethan Hunt in the short action movie "Mission: Imp" (2000, V), starred in Andy Berman's 17-minute short comedy "Bit Players" (2000), and played a band member in Ron Howard's Academy Award winning live-action film adaptation of Dr. Seuss' 1957 children's book, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000; starring Jim Carrey).

He also appeared as Dr. Phreak in the romantic comedy starring Jake Gyllenhaal, "Bubble Boy" (2001), Griphook the Goblin in the Chris Columbus-directed fantasy/adventure film based on the series of popular children's book by J.K. Rowling, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001; starring Daniel Radcliffe), and Attila in Peter Antonjevic's action adventure film starring Christian Slater, Val Kilmer, and Daryl Hannah, "Hard Cash" (2002).

In 2002, Troyer reprised his Mini-Me role in the sequel "Austin Powers in Goldmember" (2002), a loose parody of the James Bond movies "Goldfinger" and "You Only Live Twice" also incorporating elements of "The Spy Who Loved Me." He then supported Tom Everett Scott in the TV movie based on Charles Dickens' novel, "Karroll's Christmas" (2004), and made news in 2005 when he rode his mobility scooter nude and urinated in the corner on the first day of the fourth season of the WB/VH1 reality show “The Surreal Life.”

He later explained, "I wasn't too thrilled to do 'The Surreal Life.' In fact, I was set to walk out the first day...the cast talked me into staying. After I got to know these people, it felt like a family up in that house. They supported me through some close calls."

Recently, Troyer was reunited with his “Austin Powers” co-star Mike Myers for the upcoming romantic comedy movie "The Love Guru," which is due to be released on June 20, 2008.

Troyer is currently on set and will soon complete a new fantasy-adventure film directed by Terry Gilliam, "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," in which he teams up with Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits, and Heath Ledger. Following the tragic death of Ledger midway through filming, Ledger's role was recast with Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell.

Troyer will provide his voice for an upcoming action video game called "Postal III." He has also appeared in TV commercials for Sony PlayStation (1999), Sunny Delight (2001), 1-800-COLLECT (2001), Taco Bell (2002), Apple Computers (2003; with basketball great Yao Ming), Cadbury Chocettes (2004), DirecTV (2006), Geico (2006), Mini Klegg Mini MP3 Player (with Paula Abdul), and the video game "World of Warcraft." He was featured in the music videos for Method Man and Redman's "Tear it Off," Madonna's "Beautiful Stranger," Mel B's (aka. Scary Spice) "Word Up," Moby's techno hit "We Are All Made Out Of Stars," and Ludacris' "Number One Spot."

A frequent guest of Hugh Heffner's at the Playboy mansion, Troyer was featured in the December 1999 issue of “Playboy Magazine” as "mini-Heff(ner)" for its Christmas photo shoot. He has also appeared as himself in numerous Playboy videos.


Awards:

  • MTV Movie: Best On-Screen Duo, "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me," 2000

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