Verne Troyer, a popular actor best known for playing Mini-Mi in the “Austin Powers” movies, has died at the age of 49.
The actor, who was considered one of the shortest men in the world, passed away Saturday (Apr. 21), according to a statement from his family obtained by TMZ. According ot the site, Troyer had been on life support since being rushed to the hospital about two weeks ago after police received a report that he was upset, drunk and suicidal, and was treated for alcohol poisoning.
His cause of death hasn’t officially been released, but it was likely due to alcohol poisoning, as Verne has struggled with alcoholism for years and had been to rehab several times.
Troyer was born with a genetic disorder called achondroplasia dwarfism. Despite being different, Troyer said he was never treated differently by his family growing up on a farm in Michigan. He said in an interview that his parents “never treated me any different than my other average-sized siblings. I used to have to carry wood, feed the cows and pigs and farm animals.”
He began his career in Hollywood in 1994 in the film “Baby’s Day Out” as a stunt double for Baby Bink. Troyer then landed a few bit roles in movies like “Men in Black” and “Fear the Loathing in Las Vegas” before scoring the biggest role of his career—Dr. Evil’s hilarious sidekick Mini-Me in 1999’s “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” and its 2002 follow-up “Austin Powers in Goldmember.”
Troyer continued to land small roles in other comedies and movies, like his brief appearance in as Griphook the goblin in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” He’s also done a few reality shows over the years, appearing in shows like “Celebrity Juice,” “The Surreal Life,” “Celebrity Big Brother,” and “Celebrity Wife Swap.”
Troyer leaves behind his girlfriend, former Playboy Bunny Brittney Powell.
Buckle up, Boomsticks: next week’s season three finale of Ash vs. Evil Dead will wrap up the series, as Starz has declined to pick up the horror comedy for a fourth season. Based on the cult classic films Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness by Sam Raimi, the series followed an older (but not wiser) Ash Williams as a resurgence of Deadites forces him out of retirement and back into bloody action 30 years after the original events. Ash teams up with his co-workers, shy Pablo (Ray Santiago) and sardonic Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) to fight the Evil Dead, and along the way he encounters the immortal Ruby Knowby (Lucy Lawless, crushing it as always) and reconnects with his estranged daughter Brandy (Arielle Carver-O’Neill).
Ash Vs Evil Dead has been the ride of a lifetime. Ash Williams was the role of a lifetime.
I will always be grateful to Starz, Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and our tireless fans for the opportunity to revisit the franchise that launched our careers. Thank you! 😎 pic.twitter.com/oNmTopS1Ab
“Ash vs. Evil Dead has taken audiences on a wild ride for three seasons thanks to the fantastic performances and creative efforts of Sam, Bruce, Rob, and the entire cast and crew. We are proud to send the show out with a bang … and a splat,” said Carmi Zlotnik, president of programming at Starz, in a statement issued on Thursday.
Bruce Campbell tweeted on Friday, “Ash vs. Evil Dead has been the ride of a lifetime. Ash Williams was the role of a lifetime. It was an honor to reunite with Evil Dead partners Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi to give our tireless fans another taste of the outrageous horror/comedy they demanded. I will always be grateful to Starz for the opportunity to revisit the franchise that launched our careers.”
The series finale of Ash vs. Evil Dead airs on April 29th, and will feature Ash and the gang as they try one last time to save the world from Deadites hellbent on destruction. I know I’ll be cracking open an ice cold Shemp’s beer in tribute, how about you?
I’ll admit it: when I first saw the trailer for Amy Schumer’s new comedy I Feel Pretty I thought, “ugh, here we go.” The last thing I need is a movie where the punchline seemed to be “this normal girl thinks she’s hot but she’s not LOLOL!”. If I wanted to see that I’d just re-watch Shallow Hal…or a thousand other films where a female character is mocked and degraded for her physical appearance. While I’m a fan of Inside Amy Schumer, this seemed like the kind of film that punches down in terms of comedy. My initial fears, plus a Rotten Tomatoes score of 35% left me with low expectations for the film. I was ready to hate on the film, but then something surprising happened…I kind of loved it.
Written and directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (How to Be Single, Never Been Kissed), I Feel Pretty centers on Renee Bennett (Amy Schumer), a woman whose struggles with low self esteem define her everyday existence. She works in the digital offices of cosmetics giant Lily LeClaire, where she toils away in a basement office while dreaming of working in the company’s shiny 5th Avenue building. Renee’s lack of confidence has a stranglehold on her life: her career aspirations, her friendships with Vivian (Aidy Bryant) and Jane (Busy Phillips), and her dating life. After falling off of her bike in a Soul Cycle class, Renee hits her head and wakes up thinking she’s super model gorgeous.
As I watched Amy Schumer peel herself off the locker room floor in disbelief and examine herself in the mirror, I was waiting for the reveal. Who will she see when she looks in the mirror? Will it be Karlie Kloss or one of the Hadids? Renee sees her same old self, and therein lies the low key brilliance of this movie. There is no fairy dust or Zoltar machine (although Big does get a shout-out): the only thing that changes is Renee’s outlook on herself. This newfound confidence propels Renee into a new career trajectory and catches the eye of her glamorous boss Avery (Michelle Williams, flexing her comedic chops in a scene-stealing performance), and romantic interest Ethan (Rory Scovel).
While watching this movie, I was struck by how rarely we see female characters with such brazen self confidence, especially in comedies. The most beautiful actresses are always playing characters completely unsure of and oblivious to their own good looks. They are rarely strong, confident, and self assured. They are more often self deprecating, tripping over unseen hurdles (literally…these women are always falling down), and waiting for someone to come along and show them that they’re worthy of love. In an interview with Pop Sugar, Schumer says of the negative response to the trailer, “I think people projected the things they’ve been through on their own onto it, and I’m not playing, you know, an ugly troll who lives under a bridge. I’m just playing a woman who really struggles with her self-esteem. I don’t think it’s fair to say who should and shouldn’t struggle with that. Everyone struggles with it, and it doesn’t matter what you look like.”
While I Feel Pretty follows the predictable beats of a romantic comedy, it has something different to say. The humor comes not from poking fun at Amy Schumer’s appearance, but from everyone else’s responses to this radically confident woman. As Renee moves through life exuding confidence, she inspires the people around her to be more comfortable in their own skin. She excels in her work and in her personal life. There is no makeover montage, no before and after reveal: all that’s changed is how she sees herself.
After the film I was in the restroom, where a woman came up to me, eager to talk to someone about what we just saw. “Ugh, can you imagine how amazing life would be if we just walked around with that kind of mindset?”, she sighed as she washed her hands. It would be pretty amazing indeed.
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched the season four finale of Jane the Virgin, stop here lest ye be spoiled.
Last night’s episode Chapter 81 featured some exciting steps forward for our favorite characters, including Alba passing her citizenship test, Petra confessing to her twin sister’s murder, and Rafael’s planned proposal to Jane. But everyone is talking about the shocking reveal that Michael Cordero is alive…or at least, we think it’s Michael. Knowing this show it could be his evil twin, a mask, a highly realistic hologram. Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman discussed Michael’s return from the dead saying, “For a year and a half he was dead and now this character is back and as we move into the fifth season and the theme of things coming full circle starts to emerge, the return of this character felt right thematically in terms of where we wanted to go, in terms of a return to this central love triangle that was so important to the show for so long and now everybody is in really different places. The show began with Jane and Michael, and Rafael just appeared in their life and became so central, and now Jane and Rafael are in this really great place and here’s this person who could be her dead husband. We love a big twist on Jane but we also love to deal with the grounded emotional fallout of it and I think his presence will allow us a lot of conflict and emotion and heart-wrenching storytelling which I want to dive into.”
With Jane the Virgin heading into its fifth and final season, fans will have to wait and see how this new development affects the Villanuevas and Jane’s relationship with Rafael. When talking about the endgame of the series, Urman said, “As we enter our final chapter, the beginning of our ending, I thought about what I wanted to see and what I wanted to feel, and there’s been a lot of plot stuff that I’ve been very sure about. It really had a lot to do with this timing, how much story we wanted to tell and where we wanted Jane to ultimately end up.”
While you’re still reeling, enjoy this adorable video of Brett Dier making his surprise return at the finale table read. I’m not crying, you’re crying!
One snap shows the star cuddling up to all her kids, along with the caption: ‘Birthday eve with my babies x love u so much @davidbeckham kisses x’.
While another adorable photo shows Victoria and her hubby basking in the glorious sunshine next to the caption: ‘Love u so so much @davidbeckham x Thank u for making my birthday so special x The perfect day!! All 6 of us together x kisses x’.
The former X Factor winner and Strictly runner-up chats exclusively to Now!
Last year could very easily have become the worst of Alexandra Burke’s life, having lost her 53-year-old mother Melissa Bell to kidney failure.
But the former X Factor winner refused to be beaten. Instead, Alexandra finished 2017 by coming second to Joe McFadden in Strictly Come Dancing and getting engaged to her long-term boyfriend Josh Ginnelly.
Here, the 29-year-old chats to us about why she wants to start a family, to sing a duet with Stormzy, and how Strictly made her fall in love with dancing again…
Hi, Alexandra! We last saw you on our screens doing Strictly. Have you kept up with the dancing?
Yes, I’m all about the wellbeing in life and I love dancing. I know when people go into a gym it can be so intimidating – you go into the weights section and pretend you know what you’re doing. So I’m doing SlimDance, which works in a way that you can feel good and lose weight without even realising it, through dancing.
Have you kept in touch with Gorka [Márquez, Alexandra’s partner on Strictly] since the show?
Everyone’s kept in touch, we’re all on a Strictly WhatsApp group, which is great.
Did you lose a lot of weight while you were on Strictly?
Yeah, in 2014 the unfortunate thing happened of when you get into a relationship, and you put the ‘happy weight’ on, so I went up three dress sizes, but I did notice my body leaned out a lot more while doing Strictly and it did make a difference to how I felt.
How do you feel about your body at the moment?
I feel really good at the minute. I’ve always kept active since I started SlimFast three years ago. I’ve just made sure it’s become my lifestyle, and working out has become my lifestyle, eating in moderation has become my lifestyle, not depriving myself of anything. The moment you have that relationship with food where it’s a healthy relationship, and you have a healthy relationship with keeping active, it just falls into place.
Have you started a stricter diet with your wedding coming up?
No, not at all. As far as I’ve got to wedding planning has been a Pinterest board, so I don’t have any intention of planning a wedding at this moment in time. I’ve got so much work on.
What is your favourite body part?
I’d say my arms, because they’ve leaned out a bit.
‘I don’t miss it’: Alexandra Burke admits she’s been ‘mentally scarred’ by Strictly trolls
Do you think there’s a pressure to look good in your industry?
No, I don’t think there is. I’ve never felt the pressure personally, and I wouldn’t allow myself to go there. I think it’s important to promote healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle, because your health is your wealth, at the end of the day.
Would you ever consider having surgery?
I think surgery is to each and every single person’s own view and I’m not against it. If people want to do it and it makes them feel great, wonderful. But I’m not against it at all, because I just think I’m not anyone to judge anyone else if they want to feel good about themselves.
What’s your greatest career achievement to date?
I would probably say singing with Beyoncé on The X Factor was a big achievement. But my first ever tour is what really springs to mind – it’s any artist’s dream to be able to headline their own tour.
Is there anyone else you’d want to duet with?
I’m all about the Brits at the moment, and what they’re achieving, so I’d love to do something with Emeli Sandé or Jessie J, and Stormzy would be incredible – James Arthur as well.
What’s left on your career bucket list?
So many things. To perform at the BRITs, travel the world and focus on singing in other territories. I’ve done Europe but I’d love to do America. And another thing on my bucket list is to settle down and have a family one day. That would be my greatest achievement.
Alexandra Burke is supporting ‘SlimDance’, a new SlimFast campaign that champions the power of dance as a powerful weight-loss motivator and expression of life’s ‘victory moments’. Alexandra lost two stone following the SlimFast 3.2.1. Plan. Visit slimfast.co.uk to find out more.
Our relationship columnist lets us in on the secret, plus dishes the dirt on the celeb couple of the moment
Nadia Essexhas done her fair share of dishing the advice out to celebrities, including Gemma Collins and Joey Essex on Celebs Go Dating, and now it’s the turn of the Now readers.
In her exclusive Now magazine column, Nadia will be on hand to advise you with all your dating dilemmas…
I’d like to address the Khloé Kardashian and Tristan Thompson saga. We need to remember Tristan left his pregnant girlfriend to be with Khloé in the first place, so this isn’t the first time he’s done this. Once is a mistake, more than once is a pattern. And it’s a pattern of behaviour he’s unlikely to break. The worst thing is, Khloé is getting trolled for it because people forget the Kardashians are humans. Men in the public eye need to realise they’re not going to get away with it. Stay faithful or stay single – it’s not rocket science.’
My partner and I have always had a healthy sex life, but recently he’s been struggling to get it up. He’s clearly very embarrassed, what can I do to help?
N: Firstly, you have to work out if this is a mental or physical issue. If it’s because he’s anxious, it’s important you take the pressure to ‘perform’ off. Instead, make it about the foreplay – light some candles, put on some music and engage in some massage. Do more intimate stuff away from the act, which will help him to relax. If it’s physical, then encourage your partner to go to the doctor.
I’ve been seeing a guy for a while, but when we’re having sex he jabs my hip area with his fingers. How do I tell him this is not a turn-on without hurting his feelings?
N: Think about the way you say it. He’s obviously trying to please you, so discussing what you don’t like won’t hurt his feelings if you offer him an alternative. Tell him you don’t like the jabbing, but do love it when he does XYZ. That way, he’ll concentrate on the positives.
After two amazing years together I’m desperate for my fiancé to propose. How can I subtly drop hints to let him know?
N: Force any man into marriage and you may as well hire a divorce lawyer now. I’d make a romantic dinner, sit down and have an adult conversation with him about his views on marriage. If he’s not on the same page as you, you’ve got some decisions to make. Whatever you do, don’t go, ‘Look, there’s a ring shop…’ The more you push him, the more he’ll recoil.
This week I’ve lost nearly 5lb from doing intermittent fasting and HIIT training. There’s nothing more attractive than someone who’s comfortable in their own skin, and a healthy lifestyle can be a really bonding experience for a couple.
Nadia’s Tips & Toys
Vibrating cock ring
This wonderful device gives pleasure to both parties. It’s a fun, safe way to introduce toys without it being one-sided.
Don’t forget to grab a copy of next week’s Now magazine to read Nadia’s latest column.
Now’s resident columnist Lauren Goodger is back and this week she’s dishing the dirt on those photoshopping accusations and how to take the perfect ‘belfie’!
THIS got people juiced up!
I got a load of stick for a tweet about juicing after people said it was expensive and I replied, ‘Think of the cost of three days of food.’ I wasn’t saying they cost the same or that I spend £100 on food in three days! The point I was making is that unfortunately eating healthy, organic food is more expensive.
Also it depends on what you’ve done in those three days – sometimes because of my job I’m having to eat out a lot so of course that can soon add up. And I didn’t mean you have to be wealthy to be healthy. I meant the opposite! It’s a famous saying that health is wealth, as in your health is the most important thing you have.
Twitter can be annoying as you have such a short space to write, it’s difficult to explain and people are soooo quick to take things out of context and read into things the wrong way.
How could he?!
I’m devastated for Khloé Kardashian. The poor girl has waited so many years to have her own family and her boyfriend Tristan Thompson completely betrayed and humiliated her as she was about to give birth.
I can’t imagine how she must be feeling. I think that’s his celeb career finished now. Apparently the basketball player got loads of stick from the fans at his last game – serves him right!
Enhanced or not?
There was a big fuss made about my Instagram post for Miss Pap this week. Loads of people edit their pics – even the Kardashians, for God’s sake! I barely changed it so I’m flattered that everyone seems to think I did.
Like I always say, it’s all about lighting and angles and I know how to pose! I loved the bodysuit I was wearing – I live in lace bodies. I wouldn’t normally wear lilac, but I really love it!
Day in the life
I trained with Danni Armstrong in the morning, which was funny. We had a right laugh and she’s looking amazing at the moment.
Then I had a TV meeting – it was exciting and also a giggle. I can’t say too much at the moment, but watch this space! Then I came home, made a healthy mackerel salad for dinner and watched KUWTK.
For the perfect belfie, I tend to hold the camera around the back, legs together but one very slightly in front of the other. Make sure there’s a slight arch to the back and lightly tense your bum cheeks.
But fast forward to now and those candid snaps of Caben have given way to videos of gruelling, three-hour gym sessions.
A pal close to Steph tells Now that, despite appearing to have moved on from Jez – who was found guilty of assaulting her last year – the 25-year-old former Hollyoaks star has merely swapped one unhealthy obsession for another.
‘Steph seems to be coping with not having a man in her life by getting her compliments and confidence boosts from comments about her on social media instead,’ our insider says. ‘It’s as if she’s developed an unhealthy obsession with ultra-long gym workouts and is using that, and body sculpting, as a crutch to help her fill the void and loneliness she’s experiencing as a single mum.’
Having confessed to having Botox and fillers in the past, Now understands there are fears Steph could be on a slippery slope and considering more serious surgery – bum, tummy and thigh-shaping treatments.
Her pal reveals, ‘It’s like she’s never satisfied with how she looks. Everyone close to her is warning her to cut back but she’s determined that these surgeries offer her the chance to get her “old body” back, fast.’
We just hope she doesn’t lose herself in the process.