Now in his 50s, Jim Carrey has been entertaining audiences for decades. Now a highly sought-after actor, he has achieved a level of success most can only dream of.
It has not always been that way for the native of Newmarket, Ontario, as Carrey has a true rags-to-riches story.
Check out these 12 facts that track through Carrey’s life and career.
1. He lived in poverty
When he was 15, Carrey dropped out of school to take a job as a janitor in order to help support his family.
According to an interview on “Inside the Actor’s Studio”, his father had lost his job and the family was living out of a Volkswagen van parked in a relative’s yard.
Carrey never did get his high school diploma.
2. His first stand-up comedy attempt was horrific
Carrey’s first attempt at stand-up comedy (at Yuk Yuk’s in Toronto) was a bust.
He questioned his ability as an entertainer for a time, but later returned to the stage with a new-and-improved act. The rest is history.
3. Special bond with Rodney Dangerfield
His first big break came when Rodney Dangerfield signed Carrey as his opening act and brought him to Las Vegas.
When Dangerfield died in 2004, Carrey helped deliver the eulogy and served as a pallbearer.
4. His impressionist skills did not impress
He debuted as an impressionist on “The Tonight Show” in 1983 at the ripe age of 21.
Unfortunately, Johnny Carson did not give Carrey the famous wave over to sit on the couch.
5. His career didn’t hit off until 1990
Throughout the 1980s, Carrey appeared in a variety of supporting roles until finally, in 1990, he landed a recurring role in Keenen Ivory Wayans’ sketch comedy show, “In Living Color”.
6. The star rose in 1994
In 1994, Carrey took the lead in three consecutive movies which established him as a star; “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”, “The Mask”, and “Dumb and Dumber”.
7. He earned $20 million for one movie
For 1996’s “The Cable Guy”, Carrey received a then-record $20 million.
Generally seen as a critical failure, the movie still earned a profit of over $47 million.
8. Too many awesome movies
Though receiving the occasional bad review, Carrey has continued to impress critics and fans with his performances in movies such as “Liar Liar” (1997), “The Truman Show” (1998), “Man on the Moon” (1999), “Bruce Almighty” (2003), “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004), “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” (2004), and “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” (2013).
9. Married twice, engaged once
He has been married twice. Carrey’s first marriage, to actress Melissa Womer, lasted from 1987 to 1995.
Carrey’s 1996 marriage to Lauren Holly (his “Dumb and Dumber” co star) lasted less than a year.
He was later engaged to actress Renée Zellweger, though the two never married.
He followed that up with a highly-publicized five-year relationship with model and actress Jenny McCarthy.
10. His childhood dream came true
In 1990, before his career really took off, Carrey visualized himself becoming a star.
He even wrote himself a $10 million cheque for “acting services rendered”, visualizing the day when he would be able to cash it.
Six years later, he could demand twice that amount for a film.
11. Lead character in Dr. Seuss
Carrey has appeared as the lead character in two Dr. Seuss movies, the live action “The Grinch” (2000) and the animated “Horton Hears A Who!” (2008).
12. He is a grandpa
The funny man is now a grandfather! His only child, a daughter from his first marriage, gave birth to a son in February 2010.
Filming is currently underway on “Dumb and Dumber To”, in which Carrey will reunite with his co star from “Dumb and Dumber”, Jeff Daniels.
The film is anticipated to be released in November 2014.