Childhood & Early Life
James Eugene Carrey, popularly called Jim, was born to Percy and Kathleen, on January 17, 1962, in the town of Newmarket, Canada. He was the youngest of four siblings, the others being Rita, John, and Patricia. Percy, of Canadian-French descent, was a Catholic who was employed as an accountant.
James studied at the 'Blessed Trinity Catholic School', North York, for a brief period of time, before joining the 'Agincourt Collegiate Institute'. Here too, the young boy studied for only a year, and then went to 'Northview Heights Secondary School'.
Due to financial crisis faced by the family, he was forced to drop out, and help his parents earn a living.
When the family moved to Burlington, Carrey pursued his education from the 'Aldershot High School'. During this time, the teenager showed an interest in performing stand-up comedy acts, often taking time out to entertain his classmates.
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Initially, Jim began performing at the 'Yuk Yuk's' comedy club in Toronto, where he did not gain much recognition. Once the family's financial crises reduced, he got the time and opportunity to concentrate on his comic act.
He soon began performing regularly on-stage, earning a living in the process. Carrey also aimed at getting employed as an actor in television and movies, and soon appeared for a try-out of 'Saturday Night Live' produced by the 'National Broadcasting Company' ('NBC').
He was however rejected for the 1980-81 season of the show, and turned his attention towards Hollywood films. The following year, he featured on 'An Evening at the Improv', a stand-up comedy show aired on television.
In 1983, the talented entertainer appeared on 'The Tonight Show', telecast on 'NBC'. He was also signed up for two low-budget movies, 'Rubberface' and 'Copper Mountain'.
The next year, he starred in the television serial, 'The Duck Factory', aired on 'NBC', in the main role of an artist. Though the sitcom never saw the light of the day, it helped Jim bag more roles in Hollywood movies.
During 1985-89, the aspiring actor was cast in the horror-comedy movie, 'Once Bitten', alongside Lauren Hutton and Karen Kopins. He played supporting characters in movies like 'The Dead Pool', and 'Peggy Sue Got Married'. Around the same time, he also acted with comedian Damon Wayans in the film, ‘Earth Girls Are Easy’.
In 1990, Carrey began appearing on the 'Fox network' show titled, 'In Living Color', designed by Damon Wayan's brother Keenen. Two years later, he played another small role in the movie, 'Doing Time on Maple Drive'.
It was in 1994, that this brilliant comic actor got his big break in Hollywood, with the film, 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective'. Though the film did not go down well with most critics, it was a hit with the movie-goers, making a name for Jim as a star.
During the same time, he was also cast in 'Dumb and Dumber', and 'The Mask'. His performances in both the movies were highly appreciated, and he won the nomination for the 'Golden Globe Award' in the 'Best Actor' category, for the movie 'The Mask'.
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In 1995, this new star acted as 'Two-Face and the Riddler' in the Michael Keaton starrer 'Batman Forever'. He also featured in the 'Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls', which again was a hit with audiences, though it didn't impress movie critics much.
During 1996-97, Jim was cast in two major roles in the movies 'The Cable Guy', directed by Ben Stiller, and 'Liar Liar'. Both movies did exceptionally well at the box-office, with 'Liar Liar' becoming a favourite even with critics, and getting him another 'Golden Globe' nomination.
In 1998, he ventured into a more serious genre, starring in the movie, 'The Truman Show'. This satire brought critical acclaim to this splendid actor, who finally had proved his versatility. He ended up winning the 'Golden Globe Award' in the 'Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama' category.
His next movie, 'Man on the Moon', released in 1999, was also a huge critical success. His portrayal of Andy Kaufman brought home his second and successive 'Golden Globe' for 'Best Actor'.
In 2000, Carrey acted in the movie, 'Me, Myself & Irene', directed by Farelly Brothers, who had made the actor's earlier hit, 'Dumb and Dumber'. He was also cast in the movie, 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas', which earned him a 'Golden Globe' nomination for the fifth time.
Three years later, Jim appeared in the movie 'Bruce Almighty', alongside Morgan Freeman and Jennifer Aniston. Though the movie was not much appreciated by critics, it went on to gross millions at the box-office.
In 2004, this accomplished actor surprised critics and audiences once again with the romantic sci-fi drama, 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind', where he was cast opposite Kate Winslet.
The same year he also appeared in the dark comedy, 'Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events', adapted from a children's book having the same title.
From 2005-07, Carrey starred in several films, like 'Fun with Dick and Jane', a remake of an older movie of the same name, and 'The Number 23', both of which received mixed reviews.
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In 2008, for the first time, this brilliant actor lent his voice to an animated movie, for the character of an elephant in 'Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!'. He also featured along with fellow actors, Bradley Cooper and Zooey Deschanel, in the film, 'Yes Man'.
In 2009, the actor was cast in the famous movie, 'I Love You Phillip Morris', along with Scottish star, Ewan McGregor, receiving positive reviews about his comic timing. The same year, he lent voices to the characters of Ebenezer Scrooge, as well as the three ghosts in the film, 'Christmas Carol'.
During 2011-13, he has starred in the movies, 'Mr. Popper's Penguins', 'Kick-Ass 2', 'Dumb and Dumber To', and 'Burt Wonderstone'. Around the same time, he wrote and published the children's book, 'How Roland Rolls'.
Personal Life & Legacy
Carrey has been in several relationships throughout his career, initially dating pop musician Linda Ronstadt in 1983, for a brief period of eight months.
In 1987, he got married to actress Melissa Womer, and the couple have a daughter, Jane Erin, who is presently a singer. The two however legally separated after eight years of marriage.
Actress Lauren Holly and Jim got married on September 23, 1996, but this too did not last long. Since then, the famous actor has dated others like Renée Zellweger, Laurie Holden, Anine Bing, January Jones, and Jenny McCarthy. His relationship with actress McCarthy lasted for five years, before the couple publicly announced their split.
In 2004, this star became a citizen of the United States, and still retains his nationality of Canada.
He has always advocated against the use of harmful chemicals in vaccinations made for children. For this purpose, he pioneered the 'Green Our Vaccines' campaign, held in Washington D.C.