James Eugene Carrey is a Canadian-American actor, comedian, impressionist, screenwriter and producer. He is known for his energetic slapstick performances. He first gained recognition in America in 1990 after landing a recurring role in the sketch comedy television series In Living Color. Take a look below for 30 more fun and interesting facts about Jim Carrey.
1. His first leading roles in major productions came with Ace Venture: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber, The Mask, and Ace Venture: When Nature Calls, as well as a supporting role in Batman Forever and a lead role in Liar Liar.
2. Carrey gained critical acclaim starring in serious roles in The Truman Show and Man on the Moon, each garnering him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.
3. In the 2000s, he gained further popularity for his portrayal of the Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas and for the comedy Me, Myself & Irene, as well as Bruce Almighty, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, for which he was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Fun with Dick and Jane, Yes Man, Horton Hearts a Who! and A Christmas Carol.
4. He was born on January 17. 1962, in Ontario, Canada to Kathleen Oram and Percy Carrey.
5. He wrote letters to Tupac Shakur when Tupac was in prison to help the rapper laugh and smile while behind bars. Tupac said that Carrey was his favorite actor.
6. Carrey would earn his first Golden Globe nomination for The Mask.
7. He earned his second Golden Globe nomination after his critically acclaimed performance in Liar Liar.
8. Carrey was noticed by legendary comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who eventually signed the young comic to open his tour performances.
9. 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.”
10. He was forced to quit school when he was 15 years old to support the family. He took up a job as a janitor.
11. Carrey was engaged to his Me, Myself & Irene co-star Rene Zellweger from 1999 to 2000.
12. He has stated that his father helped him 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.
13. In 1996, Carrey married his Dumb and Dumber co-star Lauren Holly. After less than a year, the couple split up.
14. Carrey has said that if his career as a comedian and actor didn’t work out, he’d probably be working at the Dofasco Steel Mill in Ontario.
15. In 1979, Carrey moved to Hollywood and regularly performed at The Comedy Store to hone his impressionist skills and to polish his act.
16. When he was just 10 years old, Carrey mailed his resume to The Carol Burnett Show with hopes of getting a job on the program.
17. Carrey considers Dumb and Dumber his funniest movie.
18. He used to wear tap dancing shoes to bed when he was little. He has explained that this was because his parents often asked him to perform in the middle of the night.
19. He almost played the part of Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirate of the Caribbean. However, he turned down the role because he was in Bruce Almighty at the same time.
20. Before he was famous, Carrey promised himself that one day he would cash a $10 million cheque. In 2001, he did exactly that.
21. He auditioned to be on the 1980 and 1981 season of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. He didn’t get the part, but he did later come back to host the show in 1996, 2011 and 2014.
22. Carrey’s first wife, Melissa Womer, was a waitress at the Comedy Store, the Los Angeles comedy club where Carrey performed regularly. They have a child together.
23. He got the role on the 1989 movie Earth Girls Are Easy, which is where he met Damon Wayan’s brother Keenan, who was creating In Living Color. Damon made an introduction and Carrey was cast.
24. He received a then-record $20 million to star in Ben Stiller’s The Cable Guy.
25. In 2004, Carrey received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, right between Pierre Berton and Karen Kain.
26. In 2013, he self-released a children’s book he had written called How Roland Rolls. The book is a bout a scared wave named Roland. Carrey described the book as a, “kind of metaphysical children’s story, which deals with a lot of heavy stuff in a really childish way.”
27. In 2014, he was honored by Canada Post with a limited edition postage stamp with his portrait on it.
28. Like many comedians, Carrey has battled depression. He took Prozac for some time but, since then, has been off medication and avoids stimulants of any kind, such as coffee.
29. In 2015, Carrey’s former girlfriend, Cathriona White, was found dead of a prescription drug overdose in what was ruled a suicide. He was devastated and performed pallbearer duties at the funeral.
30. He received a U.S. citizenship in October, 2004, and remains a dual citizen of the United States and his native Canada.