A brilliant comedian who can make the harshest of critics chuckle with his wildly zany behavior, Jim Carrey is one of the highest-paid comic actors in the world. Continually re-inventing himself, he never ceases to surprise audiences and impress critics with the astounding range of his talents.
The youngest of four siblings, Jim was born and raised in the suburbs of Toronto, where he developed his sense of humor by contorting his face in front of the mirror and doing impersonations of family members. While in school, he did stand-up routines for his classmates; in seventh grade, he was so popular that his teacher allowed him to perform 15-minute impromptu sets for the class at the end of each day.
When Jim was 14, his father, an aspiring jazz saxophonist who worked as an accountant to feed his family, lost his job. The Carreys were forced to relocate, and all four children took jobs at a nearby factory. The family eventually ended up living in a VW camper van, and Jim later dropped out of high school.
To deal with his frustration, the young man turned to comedy and started to perform at comedy clubs. Realizing that his dream was to be a comedian, Jim moved to Los Angeles, where he landed a regular gig at the Comedy Store. His act drew favorable reviews and notice from people such as David Letterman and Rodney Dangerfield. Eventually, he turned to acting and, by 1989, was cast in his first major film, the sex farce Earth Girls Are Easy. This led to a part on the Fox sketch comedy show In Living Color, where he remained as part of the ensemble cast for four years.
In 1994, he appeared in his first starring role, in the surprise hit comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, which showcased his unique talents and made him a box-office star.
Full name: James Eugene Carrey
Date of Birth: January 17, 1962
Place of Birth: New Market, Ontario, Canada
Education: Left high school in the ninth grade.
Height: 6 feet 2 inches
After working as a stand-up comedian for several years, Jim finally got a chance to display his talents to a larger audience when he joined the ensemble cast of Fox’s popular sketch comedy show In Living Color. His depictions of notable characters such as Fire Marshal Bill and female body builder Vera De Milo kept audiences coming back for more and made Jim an integral part of the show’s success.
In the surprise hit comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Jim displayed his unique talent for physical and verbal humor. He exhibited the manic, rubber-limbed, face-pulling zaniness that became his trademark and established him as a truly fearless comedian. Critics dismissed the film, but audiences raved and made Jim a bankable star.
As a struggling comic, wrote himself a check for $20 million and carried it in his wallet until he actually earned that sum for The Cable Guy.
Appeared at the 20th anniversary special for the Comedy Store wearing nothing but a sock on his privates.
Sent his resume to The Carol Burnett Show when he was 10
“In a business that generally values youth before talent, you may have to quit for a while and sell some paint, but you don’t have to give up on your dreams.” – American Comedy Awards, February 1995
“When I was a kid in Canada, I watched Mr. Smith Goes to Washington whenever I could. I loved Jimmy Stewart. When video started up, I’d rent the picture and watch it and take it to bed, actually with the cassette on my chest and pray that someday I’d do something like that. I could recite the filibuster speech verbatim.” – MovieLine Magazine, July 1995
“I’m afraid, I guess, that I won’t be able to watch anymore. Everything I do comes from watching and observing and I’m concerned that I won’t be able to be the watcher because I’m the watched. I’ve already had so much success, I could quit now and say, thanks so much, you guys have been more than nice to me, but I really would like to keep working and, hopefully, growing and challenging myself.” – Bite Site