Born James Eugene Carrey, Jim Carrey
was a precocious child and sent his resume to The Carol Burnett Show at the age of 10. As he got older, his junior high teachers allowed him to perform comedy routines at the end of each day in order to prevent him from disrupting classes.
In his adolescent years, Carrey worked eight-hour shifts at the Titan Wheels factory to help provide for the family. During his tough childhood, the entire family was living out of a Volkswagen camper van before being able to go back to Toronto, Canada. Fortunately, his family’s financial status improved and Carrey was able to pursue a career in comedy.
Carrey’s first professional standup routine was performed at a comedy bar named Yuk-Yuk’s. Although reception was less than stellar, he continued with the craft. The Yuk-Yuk’s would become one of the local clubs that would serve as Carrey’s training grounds for many years.
Carrey dropped out of high school at the age of 16 in order to work on in the field of comedy fulltime. In 1979, he moved to Los Angeles and took a regular job performing at The Comedy Store. Veteran comedian Rodney Dangerfield was so impressed by Carrey’s performance that he signed the newcomer as the opening act in his comedy tours.
His first acting role was “The Duck Factory”, where he played a cartoonist. Although the show ran for a short period, it was not long before Carrey received other parts. His role as an alien in the 1988 film “Earth Girls are Easy” impressed his co-star Damon Wayans and earned him a recommendation to Wayan’s brother, Keenen, for “In Living Color”. This show was a comedy sketch that proved to be Carrey’s breakout role.
Within a year, Carrey starred as a goofy pet detective in “Ace Ventura: pet Detective”. His trademark brand of humor proved to be bankable, and other movies like “The Mask” and “Dumb and Dumber” became movie hits. Now a box-office star, Carrey made history by receiving $20 million for the role of “The Cable Guy”, which at the time was the largest sum offered to a comic actor
In 1998, Carrey switched gears and starred in “The Truman Show”. He played an innocent salesman who was unknowingly the star of a TV show. Carrey won a Golden Globe for his performance in the film. Proving that it was no fluke, he won another Golden Globe for his role in “Man on the Moon”. Carrey earned another Golden Globe nomination for his role in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. Other career highlights include his portrayal of Bruce in “Bruce Almighty”, which is the second highest grossing live-action film in history.
Carrey has been married twice. He has a daughter named Jane Erin Carrey with his first wife, actress and waitress Melissa Womer. The marriage ended in divorce in 1995. In 1996, he married Lauren Holly (his co-star in “Dumb and Dumber”) but it too, ended in less than a year.