Jim Carrey Biography

Jim Carrey photo

Born: January 17, 1962

Jim Carrey, the man with the rubber face and bigger-than-life grin, was born James Eugene Carrey in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. He began clowning for his classmates early but left school in grade nine because of financial difficulties in the family. At the age of 15, he began performing at Toronto's Yuk Yuk's Comedy Club, which led to a national tour as a stand up comedian.

At 19, he moved to Los Angeles and performed regularly at Mitzi Shore's Comedy Store. At his outrageous best, Carrey appeared on stage, a sock strategically placed over his private parts. Predictably, antics like this created waves and Carrey was soon spotted by Rodney Dangerfield, the veteran comedian known for discovering and nurturing new talent. The sock schtick launched Carrey on a tour with Dangerfield.

Carrey went on to television's In Living Color in 1990, establishing his hallmark physical comedy for a national audience. Four years later, he was a major box office draw with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber. In 1997, he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. That same year he filmed Liar Liar.

Carrey has a daughter with his first wife, Melissa Wormer, and settled their public divorce at a cost of $7 million. He married actress Lauren Holly in 1996 but his second marriage lasted less than a year. He later proposed to Renée Zellweger after they co-starred in Me, Myself and Irene (2000), but the relationship fell apart before they made it to the altar. On the up side, Jim made a record $20 million for his portrayal of The Cable Guy. His paycheck went up to $25 million for Bruce Almighty, which pulled in over $80 million during its first weekend at the box office. Unfortunately, his star turn in the highly anticipated Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) was a disappointment—the film, based on the first of a series of books was expected to be a hit along the lines of the Harry Potter series, but instead the film didn't even make its initial investment back at the box office. Since then, he's starred in a number of box office failures, including Fun with Dick and Jane (2005) and I Love You Phillip Morris (2009). He starred in Dumb and Dumber To (2014) and the sci-fi film The Bad Batch with Jason Momoa. In 2020, he returned to the big screen to play the villain in Sonic the Hedgehog.

In December 2001, Carrey announced his intention to become a United States citizen, saying he credited the country for giving him his success. "To me, this country defined me. This country allowed my dreams to come true." Carrey plans to retain his Canadian citizenship as well, and adds, "I always felt growing up that America was a big brother, protecting us in the school yard."

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