Who Is Jim Carrey?
Comedian and actor Jim Carrey was born in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, on January 17, 1962. Carrey relocated to Los Angeles to pursue comedy, eventually landing a spot on the sketch comedy show In Living Color. He went on to huge box office success in comedies, including Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Mask, and delivered acclaimed dramatic performances in The Truman Show, Man on the Moon, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. His later films include Kick Ass 2 and Dumb and Dumber To.
Early Life and Career
Actor and comedian James Eugene Carrey was born on January 17, 1962, in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. Carrey got his start with a spot doing stand-up at a Toronto comedy club when he was just 15 years old. By 1979 he had left the factory job as a janitor he had taken in 1978 to help support his family and was making his living as the opening act for successful comics Buddy Hackett and Rodney Dangerfield.
In 1983 Carrey headed west to Hollywood where he starred in a made-for-television movie called Introducing…Janet. Carrey’s appearances on TV in programs such as The Duck Factory and Jim Carrey’s Unnatural Act (1991) led to a regular role on the hit comedy In Living Color.
‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,’ ‘The Mask’
Carrey’s big screen debut came with 1984’s Finders Keepers, but he didn’t find success until he played the title role in the 1994 comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. From there, Carrey’s expressive face, expert mimicry skills and physical brand of comedy kept the hits coming. He followed with The Mask (1994), Dumb and Dumber (1994), Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995), Batman Forever (1995), The Cable Guy (1996) and Liar Liar (1997).
‘The Truman Show,’ ‘Man on the Moon’
Carrey took a successful dramatic turn as Truman Burbank in Peter Weir’s The Truman Show (1998), for which he won a Golden Globe award for Best Actor. He then teamed up with legendary director Milos Forman for the Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon (1999), co-starring Courtney Love. For his dead-on portrayal of Kaufman, Carrey took home his second Golden Globe. Despite his Golden Globe success, he didn’t earn a nomination for an Academy Award. Still, he became one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood, with an reported asking price of $20 million.
‘Me, Myself and Irene,’ ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas,’ ‘Eternal Sunshine’
In the summer of 2000, Carrey portrayed a character with two dueling personalities (both in love with the same woman) in the comedy Me, Myself and Irene. That fall, wearing pounds of green fur and makeup, he starred as the titular curmudgeon in the long-awaited big budget film version of Dr. Seuss’ holiday classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, directed by Ron Howard. In 2003 the actor starred as a man endowed with God-like powers in Bruce Almighty, with Jennifer Aniston. The following year, Carrey starred opposite Kate Winslet in Charlie Kaufman’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
‘Fun with Dick and Jane,’ ‘Dumb and Dumber To’
Carrey continued to take on a variety of comedic roles, starring in such films as Fun with Dick and Jane (2005), A Christmas Carol (2009) and Mr. Popper’s Penguins (2011). He also enjoyed supporting parts in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013), with Steve Carell, and Kick Ass 2 (2013). In 2014 Carrey reteamed with Jeff Daniels for Dumb and Dumber To.
In 2018 Carrey made his way onto the small screen in the Showtime comedy series Kidding, a story about a celebrated children’s TV host named Jeff (aka Mr. Pickles) whose family life begins to unravel much faster than he’s able to handle. Prior to Kidding, Carrey was working behind the scenes on Showtime as an executive producer on the dramedy I’m Dying Up Here.
Following a three-plus-year break from the big screen, Carrey returned in early 2020 to play the evil Dr. Robotnik in an adaptation of the popular 1990s video game Sonic the Hedgehog.
While his career as a big screen star waned, Carrey began pursuing his painting hobby in earnest. In 2017 he released a six-minute documentary, I Needed Color, in which he explained his passion for art and showed off his completed works.
In 2018 Carrey came under fire for tweeting an unflattering portrait of someone who resembled White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, with the caption, “This is the portrait of a so-called Christian whose only purpose in life is to lie for the wicked. Monstrous!” A spokesperson confirmed that the piece was rendered by Carrey but did not confirm whether or not Sanders was the subject.
Personal Life & Daughter
Carrey has a daughter, Jane, from his marriage to Melissa Womer (from 1987 to 1995). He was married briefly to Dumb & Dumber co-star Lauren Holly before entering a yearlong romance with his Me, Myself and Irene leading lady Renee Zellweger. He was later involved with actress/model Jenny McCarthy.
In 2015, Carrey’s girlfriend, Cathriona White, died from a drug overdose in what was ruled a suicide. Both White’s estranged husband and mother sued Carrey for wrongful death, though the charges were eventually dismissed.