James `Jim` Eugene Carrey is a Canadian actor, producer, screenwriter and comedian who is best known for his comic performances in movies such as the Ace Ventura
series (1994-1995), Dumb and Dumber
(1994), The Mask
(1994), Liar Liar
(1997) and the critically acclaimed films like The Truman Show (1998) and Man on the Moon
(1999), Bruce Almighty
(2003), Lemony Snicket`s A Series of Unfortunate Events
(2004), Fun With Dick And Jane (2005) and Yes Man
(2008). His lively slapstick performances have won him international fame and several awards.
Born in Newmarket, Ontario, Carrey is the son of Kathleen Oram and Percy Carrey. Carrey along with his three elder siblings, John, Patricia and Rita had was raised in a devout Roman Catholic family. Even from a young age he was fascinated by comedy and the use of impressions; when he was 10 years old, he wrote a letter to Carol Burnett from The Carol Burnett Show fame stating that he was already a master impressionist. He received a formally written reply; overjoyed, he set out to chase the big dream, of being a standup comedian.
After completing his schooling from Aldershot High School in his home town, Burlington, Carrey struggled to make a name for himself. His father Percy Carrey being a musician himself, encouraged him to chase his dreams; he would drive Carrey to Toronto for gigs at a club Yuk Yuk`s.
It is quite ironic that the comedian of his stature, he had a shaky start to his career; he failed terribly at his first few impersonation gigs and he started doubting about his own capabilities as a professional entertainer. Also, Carrey`s family`s financial woes made it difficult for his father to support his ambitions. However, Carrey persevered, and he continued to polish his skills and eventually when the family`s financial condition improved he returned to stage and went on to perform at several comedy shows. His progress accelerated within a short span of time and gained a reputation for himself.
Jim Carrey moved to Hollywood and turned his attention to working in film and television. In 1980, he auditioned for the internationally famous comic show, Saturday Night Live. Unfortunately he was not selected for the position and returned to his performances as a stand-up artist.
In a twist of fate, Carry was cast on the television series In Living Color (1990-1994) which led to his breakout role as a lead in the films Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
and Dumb and Dumber
(1994) - both critical in Carrey`s rise to success.
Jim Carrey first married Melissa Womer, a Comedy Store waitress on March 28, 1987 and after living together for eight years, the couple separated in 1995. The duo has a daughter named Jane Erin Carrey who was born in on September 6th 1987, the couple has since shared custody of the daughter.
After separating with his first wife, a year later, Carrey married Lauren Holly, a co-star he met on the set of Dumb and Dumber in 1996. The marriage did not last long, and a divorce ensued in less than a year. He has had a highly publicized romance with actress Renee Zellweger
, whom he was shortly engaged to her in 1999-2000. Following this, he dated model and actress Jenny Mcarthy from 2005-2010.
Jim Carrey made his debut as the lead actor in 1985 with the American horror comedy film, Once Bitten
alongside Lauren Hutton, and Karen Kopins. The film received positive reviews from the critics and grossed 10 million USD at the box office. Over the next few years after his debut film, the actor starred in several films like The Deal Pool
(1988), Earth Girls Are Easy (1989) but got his next major hit in 1994 as he starred in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994). The film co-starring Sean Young, Courtney Cox, Tone Loc and Dan Marino won wide critical appreciation and emerged to be a blockbuster. Later in the year, Carrey appeared in one of his most popular films, The Mask
, which won him his maiden Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. Concurrently, Dumb and Dumber
which starred Carrey in a lead role, was a huge commercial success gaining him a reputation in the field of comedy.
He was then cast in the 1995 superhero film Batman Forever
as the legendary villain, The Riddler. The film was not well received by critics and Carrey returned to playing Ace Ventura in the sequel from the franchise, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
released the same year. It was a massive success, breaking records at the box office on its opening weekend!
In a departure from his usual slapstick best, Carrey starred in the comedy The Cable Guy (1996) directed by Ben Stiller
. As the titular character, he played a friendless manipulative cable installer that intrudes into the life of his customer (Mathew Broderick) with disastrous results. The change in his established routine was critically panned despite being another commercially lauded film.
His next film met with more appreciation and is still one of Carrey`s best known films today. The comedy flick Liar Liar
(1997) resulted in another Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor and boosted Carrey`s image as a popular comic performer.
In 1998, Carrey essayed into the more serious role of Truman Burbank in the dramatic comedy The Truman Show. It was an unprecedented success and was highly praised internationally. This led to the win of his first Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama, establishing cult status.
Carrey`s success was on a rise as he appeared in the lead role in the 1999, Man in the Moon
as comedian Andy Kaufman. The film garnered him his second Golden Globe Award and his first Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Best Actor. The film elevated Carrey`s status as a talented actor and comedian.
He then went on to star in the black comedy movie Me, Myself and Irene
and the second highest grossing Christmas film of all time, How The Grinch Stole Christmas both in 2000. Carrey`s portrayal of the Grinch received a Golden Globe nomination and critical appreciation.
Next on the list was his lead roles in the hit comedy Bruce Almighty
(2003) and the drama Eternal Sunshine
of the Spotless Mind (2004), the second of which led to overwhelming acclaim and nominations for Carrey`s mature performance.
In 2004, Carrey appeared in the comedy fantasy Lemony Snicket`s
A Series of Unfortunate Events, based on the highly acclaimed books of the same name, followed by a role in Number 23
(2007) that received mixed reviews.
His next feature film Horton Hears A Who!
(2008) was critically and commercially praised. It was Carrey`s first animated children`s film and a box office success internationally.
The same year saw Carrey return to his comic roots with Yes Man
. Carrey plays Carl Allen a man who decides to say yes to everything after signing up for a self help program. He then decided to take a break by starring as the lead in the art house film I Love You Phillip Morris
. It received positive reviews with many critics appreciating Carrey`s acting talents even when not tied to mainstream media and Hollywood.
Carrey`s next foray was in Disney`s animated 3D movie of the classic A Christmas Carol
(2009) by Charles Dickens
, Mr.Popper`s Penguins (2011), the comedy film The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
(2013) and the sequel Dumb and Dumber To
(2014). His 2016 release includes True Crimes, An American-Polish crime drama film directed by Alexandros Avranas. The film had its world premiere at the Warsaw Film Festival.
Carrey first began his career on television in programs such as The Duck Factory and Jim Carrey`s Unnatural Act (1991). He gained recognition for his performance on the sketch comedy show In Living Color (1990), his big break into the silver screen.
He has hosted the much-loved TV show Saturday Night Live on three occasions.
In 2020, he played Dr. Ivo Robotnik in Sonic The Hedgehog
, directed by Jeff Howler.