Mike Myers has led tributes to his Austin Powers co-star Verne Troyer, who has died aged 49.
The 81cm tall US actor known for playing Mini-Me in the spoof spy movies died on Friday, according to a statement on his social media accounts.
Troyer had openly struggled with alcoholism and had been admitted to hospital in Los Angeles earlier this month. His cause of death is not yet clear.
“Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honour of working with him,” said Myers, co-creator and star of the Austin Powers films.
“It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed.”
The statement announcing the US actor’s death did not state a cause, but mentioned depression and suicide and described the actor as a “fighter” who was unable to overcome his latest battle.
“Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh,” it read.
“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.
“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.”
Troyer became a celebrity and pop-culture phenomenon after starring alongside Mike Myers as Mini-Me, the clone and sidekick of villain Dr Evil, in two of the three Austin Powers films.
He appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2009, and was recently baptised while surrounded by family, the message added.
The actor’s credits also include Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone and Men In Black.
The statement added that well-wishers should donate to the Starkey Hearing Foundation and Best Buddies instead of giving flowers.
American glamour model Carmen Electra shared a snap of the two of them on Instagram in which she can be seen holding Troyer in her arms.
The Baywatch actress simply posted “R.I.P Verne Troyer” along with the image.
West Wing star Marlee Matlin took to Twitter in the wake of the news, describing him as having a “lovely smile with a caring and big heart”.
Singer Vanilla Ice and American Pie actress Shannon Elizabeth also posted images of themselves with Troyer following the news of his death.
Australian readers seeking support and information about depression can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.