entertainment-180429688-ar-0-crgqcmeavcyg.jpg
The Farr Side: Verne Troyer proved doors can be opened

The Farr Side: Verne Troyer proved doors can be opened

When I learned the news Verne Troyer had passed away Saturday, I was immediately saddened. This little guy brought so much joy to so many. Troyer was 49.

He was best known for playing Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” films. He also was one of the shortest living men in the world at 2-feet-8. He lived with achondroplasia dwarfism.

Verne Troyer was born Jan. 1, 1969, in Sturgis, Michigan, my hometown, a son of Reuben and Sue Troyer. He graduated in 1987 from Centreville High School.

His parents raised him like they did his other siblings. He had chores to do and was just like any other student at school. But he dreamed of being in showbiz. After graduation, he and his brother moved to Texas. Soon after, he started to get roles portraying animals and children. “Baby’s Day Out” was his first big break

His film credits as an actor and stuntman, more than 25, include “Baby’s Day Out,” “Mighty Joe Young,” “Jingle All The Way,” “My Giant,” “Dunston Checks In,” “The Love Guru,” “Men In Black,” “Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas” and the first “Harry Potter” installment, “Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone,” in which he played Griphook the goblin.

But it was his role as Mini-Me, Dr. Evil’s smaller, more direct pure evil protégé in “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” and “Austin Powers in Goldmember” that made him a huge star.

It was so cool to see Verne on the big screen with Mike Myers. He brought such an excitement to the people of our area.

I recall spending a couple of hours with his parents, Reuben and Sue, at their home near Colon, talking about their son’s successes. It was a joy to hear them casually name-drop Myers, as if it was common to appear on-screen with him.

Here was Sue, dusting a “Mini-Me” doll of her son while showing me pictures of Verne on the red-carpet of the “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” Hollywood premier. It was a surreal moment.

Perhaps, the most telling moment was when she had said, “You know for years I had to help my son open doors, but now he’s opening doors I never dreamed he could.” What a powerful statement!

In 2003, Verne returned to Centreville, where the village celebrated his success by honoring him with “Verne Troyer Day.” It was the first time I was able to meet him since the success of the “Austin Powers” movies. He was such a joy to meet. I was in awe of how tiny this big man of the screen really was in person.

I was happy to see success hadn’t gone to his head. He was humbled by the attention and appreciative of the honor Centreville bestowed.

He had done various projects since his major movie roles including “Celebrity Big Brother” in the UK and VH1′s “The Surreal Life.“

Verne Troyer may have lived the celebrity life we might dream about, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have personal battles like everyone else. It’s important for us to celebrate the man we know and love: He inspired. He conquer. And, his mom was so right: He taught us that doors can be opened regardless of who or what we are. God bless you, Verne.

— David T. Farr can be reached at farrboy@hotmail.com. You also can find The Farr Side on Facebook.

Share This Story