- Category : Actor
- Type : GP
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Laws 4
James Eugene Carrey (born January 17, 1962) is a Golden Globe-winning Canadian-American A-list film actor and comedian.
He is known for his manic, slapstick performances in comedy films such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, The Mask, Dumb & Dumber, Me, Myself & Irene, The Cable Guy, Liar Liar, and Bruce Almighty. Carrey has also achieved critical success in dramatic roles in films such as The Truman Show, Man on the Moon, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Jim Carrey was born in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada to Kathleen Oram, a homemaker, and Percy Carrey, an accountant. He has three older siblings, John, Patricia and Rita. The family was Catholic and has French Canadian ancestry (the original surname was Carré). A comedian from an early age, Carrey mailed his résumé to The Carol Burnett Show when he was 10 years old. He was the quintessential class clown, and his teachers often gave him a few minutes at the end of each school day to do a stand-up comedy routine for his classmates.
After the family moved to Scarborough when Carrey was 14 the family lived in a house of historical importance. Carrey attended Blessed Trinity Catholic School in North York for two years, then began at Agincourt Collegiate Institute, Scarborough's oldest high school.
Carrey lived in Burlington, Ontario for eight years and attended Aldershot High School. In a Hamilton Spectator interview (February 2007) he mentioned that "if his career in show business hadn't panned out he would probably be working today in Hamilton, Ontario at the Dofasco steel mills." When looking across the Burlington Bay towards Hamilton he could see the mills and thought "those were where the great jobs were." He already had experience working in a factory in Richmond Hill, Ontario and had been somewhat resigned to that path before breaking out.
Start in comedy
In 1979, Carrey started performing stand-up comedy at Yuk Yuk's in Toronto, where he rose to become a headliner in February 1981, shortly after his 19th birthday and was managed by Leatrice Spevack. After Carrey's debut as a featured act, a reviewer in the Toronto Star raved that he had just seen "a genuine star coming to life." In the early 1980s, he moved to Los Angeles and started working at The Comedy Store, where he was noticed by comedian Rodney Dangerfield. Dangerfield liked Carrey's performance so much that he signed Carrey up to open Dangerfield's tour performances.
Carrey turned his attention towards the film industry. He auditioned to be a castmember for NBC's Saturday Night Live when the show was looking for new cast members for their 1980–1981 season. Carrey was never chosen to be a cast member (although he finally hosted the show in May 1996). His first lead role on television was Skip Tarkenton, a young animation producer on NBC's The Duck Factory. The short-lived comedy, which aired from April 12, 1984 to July 11, 1984, offered a behind-the-scenes look at the crew that produced a children's cartoon.
Carrey continued performing in small character roles in film and television, most notably 1985's Once Bitten. His small roles eventually led to a friendship with fellow comedian Damon Wayans. The two co-starred as aliens in 1989's Earth Girls are Easy. When Wayans' brother Keenen was putting together a sketch comedy show for Fox called In Living Color, Carrey was hired as a cast member. His unusual characters, including masculine female bodybuilder Vera de Milo and the masochistic safety inspector Fire Marshall Bill Burns (whose dangerous, ill-advised "safety tips" were the target of censors and television watchdog groups who saw Carrey's performance as something that younger viewers would see as harmless fun and try to imitate unadulteratedly), as well his on-screen behavior caught America's (and Hollywood's) attention.
Carrey made his film debut in the film Rubberface (1983), which was known as 'Introducing...Janet' at the time of release, since Carrey only played a minor part. But later the same year, he got the leading part in Damian Lee's Canadian skiing comedy Copper Mountain, where he among other things did an amusing impersonation of Sammy Davis Jr.. But since the movie had a runtime of less than one hour, and half of it was just musical performances by artists such as Rita Coolidge and Rompin' Ronnie Hawkins, it wasn't considered as a genuine feature film. However, a few years later, he had his first mainstream starring role in the dark comedy Once Bitten as Mark Kendall, a teen virgin who is pursued by a 400-year old female vampire (Lauren Hutton). After supporting roles in films such as Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) Earth Girls are Easy (1988) and The Dead Pool (1988) Carrey did not experience box office success and stardom until he was cast in the starring role in the 1994 comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, which premiered only months before In Living Color ended. The film was panned by critics, and helped earn him a 1995 Golden Raspberry Award nomination as Worst New Star.
Jim Carrey with Jeff Daniels in Dumb and DumberHowever, the film was a huge commercial success, as were Carrey's two other starring roles, in The Mask and Dumb and Dumber, both released the same year.
In 1995, Carrey appeared as the Riddler in Batman Forever and reprised his role as Ace Ventura in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. Both films were successful at the box office and earned Carrey multi-million-dollar paychecks.
Carrey made headlines when it was revealed that he was paid twenty million dollars for his next film, The Cable Guy (directed by Ben Stiller), a record sum for a comedy actor. The attention drawn to his salary, coupled with negative reviews for the film and its character's dark mood in contrast to his other performances, all contributed to the film's mediocre earnings, although the film is regarded as sadly under-rated by a significant number of fans. Carrey quickly rebounded with the successful and lighter Liar Liar, a return to his trademark comedy style.
Carrey as Truman Burbank in The Truman ShowDespite the regular comedy successes, Carrey took a chance to play a more serious role, and a slight paycut to star in The Truman Show (1998), a change of pace that led to forecasts of an Academy Award nomination. Although the movie was nominated for three other awards, Carrey did not personally receive a nomination, leading him to joke that "it's an honor just to be nominated...oh no", during his appearance on the Oscar telecast. However, Carrey did win a Golden Globe (Best Actor in a Drama) and an MTV Movie Award (Best Male Performance). The same year, Carrey appeared as a fictionalized version of himself on the final episode of Garry Shandling's The Larry Sanders Show, making an impression by ripping deliberately into Shandling's character.
In 1999, Carrey won the role of comedian Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon. Several actors, including Edward Norton, were interested in the role, but Carrey's audition, including an act with the bongo drums Kaufman used in his performances, helped him be cast. Coincidentally, Carrey was born thirteen years to the day after Kaufman. Despite critical acclaim, he was not nominated for an Academy Award--though again, won a consecutive Best Actor Golden Globe award.
In 2000, Carrey re-teamed with the Farrelly Brothers (who had directed him in Dumb & Dumber) in their comedy, Me, Myself and Irene, about a state trooper with multiple personalities who romances a woman played by Renée Zellweger. The film grossed $24 million dollars on its opening weekend and $90 million by the end of its domestic run. Carrey has since continued to appear in successful comedies as well as more dramatic roles. His performance in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) earned high praise from critics, who once again incorrectly predicted that Carrey would receive an Oscar nomination, although the film won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and co-star Kate Winslet received a nomination for her performance. (Again, Carrey was nominated for a Golden Globe for this performance, his sixth.)
In 2003, Carrey re-teamed with Tom Shadyac for the financially successful comedy Bruce Almighty. Earning over $242 million in the U.S. and over $484 million worldwide, this film became the second highest grossing live-action comedy of all time.
Carrey as Count Olaf in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate EventsIn 2004, he played Count Olaf in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, which was based on the popular children's novels. In 2005, Carrey starred in a remake of Fun with Dick and Jane, playing Dick, a husband who loses his job after his company went bankrupt.
In 2007, Carrey reunited with Joel Schumacher, director of Batman Forever, for The Number 23, a psychological thriller co-starring Virginia Madsen and Danny Huston. In the film, he portrayed a man who becomes obsessed with an obscure book he thinks is based on his life.
Carrey has stated that he finds the prospect of reprising a character to be less enticing than taking on a new role, and fans say he rarely turns down roles because he enjoys trying new things.
Carrey has been married twice, first to former actress and Comedy Store waitress Melissa Womer, with whom he has a daughter, Jane Erin Carrey (b. September 1987). They were married on March 28, 1987 and were officially divorced in late 1995. After his separation from Womer in 1994, Carrey began dating his Dumb & Dumber co-star Lauren Holly. They were married on September 23, 1996; the marriage lasted less than a year. Carrey dated actress Renée Zellweger, whom he met on the set of Me, Myself and Irene, although their relationship ended in a broken engagement in December 2000. During 2004, Jim started dating his massage therapist Tiffany O. Silver. In December 2005, Carrey began dating actress/model Jenny McCarthy. The pair have since denied engagement rumors. In the May 2006 issue of Playboy Magazine (pg 48), it was mentioned that he has dated model Anine Bing.
He attended a Presbyterian Church with his family in the early 1990s. Carrey really does have a chipped tooth; for his role in Dumb & Dumber, he simply removed the cap. He owns a Gulfstream Aerospace Gulfstream V and also drives a Saleen S7 (the car Bruce got after he became God in Bruce Almighty). He is a big fan of the death metal band Cannibal Corpse.
Carrey received U.S. citizenship on October 7, 2004 and now has dual citizenship between the U.S. and his native Canada, where he has had a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto since 1998. He went public about his bouts with depression in a November 2004 interview on 60 Minutes.