Believe it or not, Jim Carrey has graced the big screen for over 30 years.
Carrey started off as a stand-up comic in Canada, but veered towards TV and film a few years after his move to Hollywood. The actor landed a variety of roles in no time, and Carrey’s big break came in the early ’90s on the popular sketch comedy show “In Living Color” (1990-1994). After becoming a featured player on the show, Carrey was offered the lead roles in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” “The Mask,” and “Dumb and Dumber” — all in 1994. Yeah, he did all right. This fall, Carrey returns to one of his landmark roles, playing the affable goof Lloyd Christmas in “Dumb and Dumber To.”
From his friendship with Tupac to his co-star romances, here are 29 things you probably don’t know about Jim Carrey.
1. James Eugene Carrey was born January 17, 1962 in Ontario, Canada to Kathleen Oram and Percy Carrey.
2. Carrey and his three older siblings (two girls and a boy) were raised Roman Catholic.
3. On “Inside the Actors Studio,” Carrey described his father as “a musician who got a ‘regular job’ to support his children.” He added that when his father lost his job, “everything fell apart.”
4. The future actor was forced to quit school at 15 to help support the family and took a job as a janitor.
5. Carrey has said that if his career in show business didn’t pan out, he’d probably be working today at the Dofasco steel mill in Ontario.
6. Even at a young age, the future star would perform constantly. In school, his teacher struck a deal with Carrey: if he could sit quietly during class, he could get a few minutes at the end of class to perform for his classmates.
7. When he was just 10 years old, Carrey mailed his resumé to “The Carol Burnett Show” with hopes of landing a job on the program.
8. His father helped Carrey develop his stage act and would drive him to Toronto to perform stand-up. The comedian made his debut at the comedy club Yuk Yuk’s.
9. In 1979, Carrey moved to Hollywood and regularly performed at The Comedy Store to hone his impersonation skills and polish his act.
10. Carrey was soon noticed by legendary comedian Rodney Dangerfield (“Caddyshack“), who eventually signed the younger comic to open his tour performances.
11. In 1983, the young comedian performed on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”
12. Around that time, he branched out to TV and film and starred in “Copper Mountain” (1983) as a sex-starved teen opposite Alan Thicke. The movie was basically an infomercial for the now-closed Club Med in Copper Mountain, Colorado.
13. Carrey then landed the lead part in an NBC sitcom “The Duck Factory” (1984), but the show was cancelled during its first season.
14. While the sitcom didn’t stick, the actor found work in several films in the late ’80s, including “Peggy Sue Got Married” (1986). And one of those films even led to his breakout gig.
15. Damon Wayans, Carrey’s co-star in “Earth Girls Are Easy” (1989), introduced Carrey to his brother Keenan, who was creating the sketch comedy show “In Living Color” (1990-1994). Carrey landed a recurring role on the show and set the stage for his Hollywood stardom.
16. As “In Living Color” came to a close, Carrey starred in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” (1994) — his first lead role in a major film and a breakout hit.
17. That same year, the comedian starred in “The Mask” and “Dumb and Dumber.” All three films were big commercial hits and proved Carrey was a serious box office draw.
18. He earned his first Golden Globe nomination for “The Mask.”
19. Carrey would earn his second Golden Globe nomination after his critically-acclaimed performance in “Liar Liar” (1997).
20. In total, Carrey has six Golden Globe nominations and two wins. He won Best Actor (Drama) for “The Truman Show” (1998) and Best Actor (Comedy/Musical) for “Man on the Moon” (1999).
21. Despite the two Golden Globe wins, he has yet to be nominated for an Academy Award.
22. As for his personal life, Carrey has been married twice. His first marriage was to former actress and Comedy Store waitress Melissa Womer. The couple tied the knot in 1987 but called it quits in 1995.
23. They have one kid together, Jane (b. 1987), the actor’s only child.
24. Jane was also a contestant on “American Idol” in 2012.
25. In 1996, Carrey married his “Dumb and Dumber” co-star Lauren Holly. After less than a year, the newlyweds split up.
26. Does he have a knack for dating his co-stars? Carrey was engaged to his “Me, Myself and Irene” (2000) co-star Renée Zellweger from 1999-2000.
27. His other high-profile relationship was with former Playboy Playmate of the Year Jenny McCarthy. The couple called it quits in 2010 after a five-year relationship.
28. This fall, Carrey stars in the sequel to “Dumb and Dumber” — 20 years later. Oddly enough, it is the third consecutive sequel the actor has appeared in after “Kick-Ass 2″ (2013) and “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” (2013).
29. Bonus Fact: Carrey wrote letters to Tupac Shakur when Tupac was in prison to help the rapper/actor laugh and smile while behind bars. Tupac said that Carrey was his favorite actor.
[Sources: IMDb, Wikipedia]
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