Jim Carrey has become one of the most recognized faces in the world —and it is precisely because of his face that he has achieved such fame. His rubbery look, and penchant for wild and extreme behavior has given him a notoriety he delights in.
Born in New Market, Ontario, Canada on January 17th, 1962 to a working class family, growing up poor was tough for young Jim Carrey, While in his teens, he had to take a job as a janitor when his father lost his job and he had to juggle both School and work. School eventually lost out and he dropped out. He describes himself as being very angry at this time in his life, yet one good thing came out of it. He developed a tremendous sense of humour to help him cope and to shield his anger from the world.
He was a loner who claims he didn’t have any friends because he didn’t want any. Between school and work there just wasn’t much time for a childhood. At 15 though, he had enough time to start performing at Yuk Yuks, a famous Toronto comedy club where he began to perfect his shtick. He moved to LA and did the club circuit there. He soon came to the attention of Rodney and was put on his tour.
Jim Carrey got his big break in 1990, when he landed a role on the hip new sketch comedy show In Living Color which boasted a cast of African-Americans and Carrey, the sole white guy. While there, Carrey perfected many characters, most notoriously “Fire Marshal Bill” who always went up in a blaze. The sketch was yanked when critics claimed that it encouraged kids to play with fire. The controversy put Carrey’s name in the headlines for the first time.
He broke into feature films, and into the collective unconscious of the world, in one single successful year, 1994. It was the Year of the Funny Face. First there was Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, a surprise hit that show Carrey’s now signature wacky style. Next came The Mask, a role that seemed tailor-made for him and was a hit with audiences. As if he hadn’t made an impression yet, there was still Dumb and Dumber which was released during the holiday season and ended up on top of the box office. Jim Carrey was in the limelight now and he hasn’t looked back since.
Since that famous year Carrey has, dare we say it····, slowed down a bit. His films have come out less often but have continued to make waves if not quite of the caliber as previously seen. There was Batman Forever, in which he inherited the role of The Riddler. Then there was a sequel to Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls which didn’t quite recapture the sparkle of the original. Next came Liar, Liar. The film was a tremendous success with crowds everywhere and put him back on top. It also brought his salary back up 20 million. Then came The Truman Show, a film which proved to the world that Jim Carrey was more than just a funny face.
In fact, Jim was awarded a Golden Globe for his dramatic portrayal. When he was snubbed by the Oscars, there was a collective gasp heard around the world. Clearly the fans at least think Jim Carrey is golden.
The future looks good for Jim Carrey, he has developed a legion of devoted fans who love his wild style of physical comedy. He has proven his ability to weather a storm and come out on top, important for any celebrity.
Carrey has come a long way from his unhappy childhood and in fact seems to be living a second childhood now. Canada has been producing fine comedic talents for years, and Jim Carrey is definitely the best of the new breed.