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Jim Carrey

Birth Name: 
James Eugene Carrey
Birthday: 
Wednesday, January 17, 1962
Birth Place: 
Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Height: 
6'1"

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 and James Stewart), 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 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) to play eccentric funnyman Andy Kaufman 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'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. (IMDb)

Interviews

Jim Carrey: The Interview (A Christmas Carol)

This isn't our first time sitting down with the master of comedy.  After our interview a few years back (for Lemony Snicket), we tracked down Jim Carrey once again to talk about his role as Scrooge in the update of t... Read more
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Jim Carrey: The Interview

Jim Carrey on being Count Olaf. SHAKEFIRE: You’ve played outrageous characters before, but why is Count Olaf so different from anything you’ve ever done before?... Read more
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News

Jim Carrey Joining Burt Wonderstone

Looks like magician comedy Burt Wonderstone is set to re-ignite an old rivalry, as Jim Carrey is now negotiating to star alongside Steve Carell.... Read more
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Jim Carrey to Guest Star on 'The Office' Finale

Add Jim Carrey's name to the growing list of high-profile guest stars set to appear in this season's final episode of The Office.... Read more
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Carrey Locked Into Mr Popper's Penguins

He kick-started his film career acting alongside animals in the Ace Ventura films, so it seems only natural that, after being rumoured for the film for a while now, Jim Carrey has officially signed to star in the adaptation of 1938 kids’ book Mr Popper’s Penguins.... Read more
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Jim Carrey For Mr Popper's Penguins?

Back in the spring, word was that the Greenberg team of Ben Stiller and Noah Baumbach were preparing the project. But now according to the LA Times, it's Jim Carrey and Mark Waters considering Mr Popper's Penguins.... Read more
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Disney's 'A Christmas Carol' train tour winding down

Shakefire had a chance to exclusively view Disney's A CHRISTMAS CAROL train tour when it made it's stop in Savannah, GA last week.  As the tour winds down to it's 40th and final stop November 1 in New York, Pandora goes in depth about the event, complete with video and images in her latest blog e... Read more
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Reviews

Mr. Popper's Penguins

Based on the original children’s book by Richard & Florence Atwater, Mr. Popper’s Penguin’s hit’s the big screen with major star Jim Carrey attached as Mr.... Read more
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I Love You Phillip Morris

Love is a powerful thing. It can make you feel on top of the world or turn your insides into a pile of mush. Just ask Steven Jay Russell (Jim Carrey). He has broken out of prison on four separate occasions just to be with the man he loves, each time being more elaborate than the previous.... Read more
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A Christmas Carol (BLU-RAY)

The budget Disney set for A Christmas Carol was really seemingly so high for 2 reasons; 1) Hopes that it would live on every Christmas like The Polar Express, which took a few years to earn it's budget back and/or 2) To "take one for the team" and advance the digital technology a little further. ... Read more
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A Christmas Carol

There have been dozens of film adaptations of the classic Charles Dickens’ 1843 story, A Christmas Carol. Disney is at it again with Robert Zemeckis and Jim Carrey in the first Disney Digital 3D version of the tale. So how does it stack up to all the others out there?... Read more
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Yes Man (BLU-RAY)

Jim Carrey has lost a bit of his luster sincehe dominated the box office back in the early to mid 90's.  By choosing to do slightly more adult fair, the rubber faced comedian may have alienated some of his initial audience but he has gained the respect of many more and, in turn, kept himself from... Read more
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Videos

Dumb and Dumber To (TV Spot)

Dumb and Dumber To (TV Spot)

Dumb and Dumber To (TV Spot) ... Read more
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Dumb And Dumber To (Trailer #1)

Dumb And Dumber To (Trailer #1)

Dumb And Dumber To (Trailer #1) ... Read more
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Kick-Ass 2

Kick-Ass 2

Kick-Ass 2 starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jim Carrey ... Read more
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The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (Bubble Bath)

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (Bubble Bath)

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (Bubble Bath) ... Read more
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Jim Carrey: The Interview (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone)

Jim Carrey: The Interview (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone)

Jim Carrey: The Interview (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone) ... Read more
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Photos