Jan. 17th, 1962
Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
6' 1 1/2"
Jim Carrey's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2009 - A Christmas Carol
2009 - I Love You Phillip Morris
2008 - Yes Man
2008 - Horton Hears a Who!
2007 - The Number 23
2005 - Fun with Dick and Jane
2004 - Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
2004 - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2003 - Bruce Almighty
2001 - The Majestic
2000 - Me, Myself & Irene
2000 - The Grinch
1999 - Man on the Moon
1998 - Simon Birch
1998 - The Truman Show
1997 - Liar Liar
1996 - The Cable Guy
1995 - Batman Forever
1995 - Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
1994 - The Mask
1994 - Dumb & Dumber
1994 - Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
1991 - High Strung
1989 - Pink Cadillac
1988 - The Dead Pool
1988 - Earth Girls Are Easy
1986 - Peggy Sue Got Married
1985 - Once Bitten
1984 - Finders Keepers
1983 - Copper Mountain
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Guest
Himself - Actor (segment "Jim Carrey")
The Fingerlakes Guy
The youngest of four children born to Percy (an accountant and aspiring jazz saxophonist) and Kathleen, Jim Carrey was an incurable extrovert from day one. As a child he performed constantly, for anyone who would watch, and even mailed his résumé to "The Carol Burnett Show" (1967) at age 10. In junior high he was granted a few precious minutes at the end of each school day to do stand-up routines for his classmates (provided, of course, that he kept a lid on it the rest of the day). Carrey's early adolescence took a turn for the tragic, however, when the family was forced to relocate from their cozy town of Newmarket to Scarborough (a Toronto suburb). They all took security and janitorial jobs in the Titan Wheels factory, Jim working 8-hour shifts after school let out (not surprisingly, his grades and morale both suffered). When they finally deserted the factory, the family lived out of a Volkswagen camper van until they could return to Toronto. Back on firmer ground, Carrey decided to strike out into the comedy club scene. He made his (reportedly awful) professional stand-up debut at Yuk-Yuk's, one of the many local clubs that would serve as his training ground in the years to come. He dropped out of high school, worked on his celebrity impersonations (among them Michael Landon (I) and James Stewart (I)), and in 1979 worked up the nerve to move to Los Angeles. He finessed his way into a regular gig at The Comedy Store, where he impressed Rodney Dangerfield so much that the veteran comic signed him as an opening act for an entire season. During this period Carrey met and married waitress Melissa Womer, with whom he had a daughter (Jane). The couple would later go through a very messy divorce, freeing Carrey up for a brief second marriage to actress Lauren Holly. Wary of falling into the lounge act lifestyle, Carrey began to look around for other performance outlets. He landed a part as a novice cartoonist in the short-lived sitcom "The Duck Factory" (1984); while the show fell flat, the experience gave Carrey the confidence to pursue acting more vigorously. He scored the male lead in the ill-received Lauren Hutton vehicle Once Bitten (1985), and a supporting role in Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), before making a modest splash with his appearance as the alien Wiploc in Earth Girls Are Easy (1988). Impressed with Carrey's lunacy, fellow extraterrestrial Damon Wayans made a call to his brother, Keenen Ivory Wayans, who was in the process of putting together the sketch comedy show "In Living Color" (1990). Carrey joined the cast and quickly made a name for himself with outrageous acts (one of his most popular characters, psychotic Fire Marshall Bill, was attacked by watchdog groups for dispensing ill- advised safety tips). Carrey's transformation from TV goofball to marquee headliner happened within the course of a single year. He opened 1994 with a starring turn in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), a film that cashed in on his extremely physical brand of humor (the character's trademark was talking out his derrière). Next up was the manic superhero movie The Mask (1994), which had audiences wondering just how far Carrey's features could stretch. Finally, in December, he hit theaters as a loveable dolt in the Farrelly brothers' Dumb & Dumber (1994) (his first multi-million dollar payday). Now a box-office staple, Carrey brought his manic antics onto the set of Batman Forever (1995), replacing Robin Williams (I) as The Riddler. He also filmed the follow-up to his breakthrough, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995), and inked a deal with Sony to star in The Cable Guy (1996) (replacing Chris Farley) for a cool $20 million--at the time, that was the biggest up-front sum that had been offered to any comic actor. The movie turned out to be a disappointment, both critically and financially, but Carrey bounced back the next year with the energetic hit Liar Liar (1997). Worried that his comic shtick would soon wear thin, Carrey decided to change course. In 1998, he traded in the megabucks and silly grins to star in Peter Weir's The Truman Show (1998). Playing a naive salesman who discovers that his entire life is the subject of a TV show, Carrey demonstrated an uncharacteristic sincerity that took moviegoers by surprise. He won a Golden Globe for the performance, and fans anticipated an Oscar nomination as well--when it didn't materialize, Carrey lashed out at Academy members for their narrow-minded selection process. Perhaps inspired by the snub, Carrey threw himself into his next role with abandon. After edging out a handful of other hopefuls (including Edward Norton (I)) to play eccentric funnyman Andy Kaufman (I) in Man on the Moon (1999), Carrey disappeared into the role, living as Kaufman -- and his blustery alter-ego Tony Clifton -- for months (Carrey even owned Kaufman's bongo drums, which he'd used during his audition for director Milos Forman). His sometimes uncanny impersonation was rewarded with another Golden Globe, but once again the Academy kept quiet. An indignant Carrey next reprised his bankable mania for the Farrelly brothers in Me, Myself & Irene (2000), playing a state trooper whose Jekyll and Hyde personalities both fall in love with the same woman (Renée Zellweger). Carrey's real-life persona wound up falling for her too--a few months after the film wrapped, the pair announced they were officially a couple. By then, Carrey had already slipped into a furry green suit to play the stingy antihero of Ron Howard (I)'s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000). He plans to take a break from the limelight after the holiday flick (as he puts it, "I'm looking forward to getting out of America's face"). Is there another Carrey reinvention in the works? If so, he's not talking.
- 'Jack Nicholson' (qv) has called him the "Jack Nicholson of the next generation".
- Many of his characters have a job or interest in TV (_The Mask (1994)_ (qv), _Batman Forever (1995)_ (qv), _The Cable Guy (1996)_ (qv), _The Truman Show (1998)_ (qv), _Man on the Moon (1999)_ (qv), _Bruce Almighty (2003)_ (qv))
- Was a straight-A student until he dropped out.
- Once performed "Rocket Man" on stage with 'Elton John' (qv) at one of Elton's concerts (1998).
- He has said that Joel, his painfully shy, lovelorn character in _Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)_ (qv), is closer to what he's like when he's not "on," and that making the film lead him to reflect on his past relationships and why they didn't work out.
- With the exception of his "Ace Ventura" character, Carrey has a reputation of not repeating the same character twice in a sequel (_Batman & Robin (1997)_ (qv)) or prequel (_Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)_ (qv)).
- As a kid, he was a member of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets.
- Insisted that his favorite band, Cannibal Corpse, play in the movie _Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)_ (qv).