Verne Troyer, star of Apple's Powerbook commercials, dies aged 49

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in Current Mac Hardware
Best known for his role as Mini-Me in the "Austin Powers" movie franchise, as well as starring in a memorable Apple commercial in 2003, Verne Troyer passed away on Saturday at the age of 49.

Verne Troyer and Yao Ming in 2003 Apple commercial


No cause of death has yet been released for the 2-foot, 8-inch actor and stunt performer, according to CNN. Troyer was hospitalized earlier this month, following a visit by emergency responders to his Los Angeles home.

In 2003, Troyer appeared along with 7-foot, 6-inch basketball star Yao Ming in a television ad for that year's G4 Mac Powerbooks, which came available in 12- and 17-inch sizes. The joke, nearly as old as comedy itself, was the naturally funny juxtaposition of a very tall man with a very short man, in this case one of the world's tallest athletes with one of its shortest actors.

The ad features Ming and Troyer seated next to each other on a plane -- with Ming reaching for the smaller Powerbook and Troyer opting for the larger one.





Adweek, at the time, praised the commercial for its "quietness."

"The two are in their own cocoon, sitting in some fantasy first-class seats on a hushed and nearly empty plane," Barbara Lippert wrote for the advertising industry publication. "Neither Yao nor Troyer speaks a word. Instead, they eye each other's laptops with amusement. They end up breaking each other up, and the smiles seem genuine."

Created by agency TBWA\Chiat\Day, the ad followed the "Switchers" series of commercials, whereas the famous "Get a Mac" campaign followed a few years later. The Ming and Troyer ad also had a print component:

Nunca olvidar ese momento en el que Verne Troyer coincidi con Yao Ming en el comercial de Apple pic.twitter.com/bA41Hbavc4

-- William Cabrera (@willicab)


Troyer was diagnosed with a condition called cartilage-hair hypoplasia, which was the reason for his status as one of the world's shortest men. He began his career as a stuntman before getting his big break when he was cast as Mini-Me, a one-eighth size clone of villain Dr. Evil, in the second and third "Austin Powers" movies in 1999 and 2002.

In his later years, Troyer continued appearing in films as well as reality shows; he was also open about his struggles with alcoholism and depression.

Comments

  • Reply 2 of 12
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,483member
    Sad news and excellent ads. 

    That one had a special charm.
    baconstang
  • Reply 3 of 12
    buzdotsbuzdots Posts: 449member
    Voice over almost sounds like Tim Cook...?

  • Reply 4 of 12
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,346administrator
    buzdots said:
    Voice over almost sounds like Tim Cook...?

    Jeff Goldblum.
    ronnracerhomie3
  • Reply 5 of 12
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,499member
    I fondly remembered that commercial.  I just can't believe it was 15 years ago.  It truly does not seem that long. :(

    Even with his physical challenged, he lived a good life.  Sad news.
    baconstang
  • Reply 6 of 12
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,690member
    sflocal said:
    Even with his physical challenged, he lived a good life.  Sad news.
    I'm not so sure about that. He had a long running with alcohol addiction and depression.
  • Reply 7 of 12
    ronnronn Posts: 318member
    sflocal said:
    I fondly remembered that commercial.  I just can't believe it was 15 years ago.  It truly does not seem that long. :(

    Even with his physical challenged, he lived a good life.  Sad news.

    Apparently too good. Struggled with addiction and alcoholism. Reportedly he suffered alcohol poisoning very recently and probably led to his demise.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    One of my absolute favorite Apple ads. Humor, irony, impishness, self-deprecation, brashness, and technological superiority all rolled into one. Utterly endearing.

    The milquetoast that passes of for Apple's ads today is quite sad, by comparison (with rare exceptions, such as the AirPods ad with Marian Hill's Down). There just seems to be no humor in it any more... it's all so bland and.... corporate.
    baconstang
  • Reply 9 of 12
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,690member
    ronn said:
    sflocal said:
    I fondly remembered that commercial.  I just can't believe it was 15 years ago.  It truly does not seem that long. :(

    Even with his physical challenged, he lived a good life.  Sad news.
    Reportedly he suffered alcohol poisoning very recently and probably led to his demise.
    Maybe, but I think not detoxing properly when you're an alcoholic leads to a lot more direct deaths than directly drinking yourself to death. Alcohol is not a drug you want to stop cold turkey,
  • Reply 10 of 12
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Soli said:
    ronn said:
    sflocal said:
    I fondly remembered that commercial.  I just can't believe it was 15 years ago.  It truly does not seem that long. :(

    Even with his physical challenged, he lived a good life.  Sad news.
    Reportedly he suffered alcohol poisoning very recently and probably led to his demise.
    Maybe, but I think not detoxing properly when you're an alcoholic leads to a lot more direct deaths than directly drinking yourself to death. Alcohol is not a drug you want to stop cold turkey,
    Both lead to death. If you drink a high enough amount, alcohol will kill you more surely. And yeah. got several very early deaths in my extended family to know too well what it does.
  • Reply 11 of 12

    I loved Verne as Mini-me. It was probably Mike Myers' second best creation, behind only Dr. Evil.

    Verne really was battling demons. I remember catching a snippet of him drunk out of his skull and pissing in some room on some MTV show (The Real Life, or some such).


  • Reply 12 of 12
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,852member

    I loved Verne as Mini-me. It was probably Mike Myers' second best creation, behind only Dr. Evil.

    Verne really was battling demons. I remember catching a snippet of him drunk out of his skull and pissing in some room on some MTV show (The Real Life, or some such).


    Too bad about that rug... it really pulled the room together.
    bestkeptsecret
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