Jim Carrey was born in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada on January 17th, 1962. Anyone who has seen his work can surmise that Carrey has been a performer ever since he was very young. Carrey’s first paid performance work came in the form of stand-up comedy in Toronto, Canada. Carrey made his debut comedy performance at Yuk-Yuk’s as a star was beginning to form. Suffering difficult times in his adolescence and having to work eight hours after school to help his family pay the bills, Carrey eventually dropped out of High School and moved to Los Angeles in 1979.
In Los Angeles Carrey landed a spot at The Comedy Store where he was signed for a year by Rodney Dangerfield. Carrey got his first acting break in 1983 playing the role of Bobby Todd in Copper Mountain. Looking to diversify a bit and make some extra cash Carrey worked as a cartoonist in the 1984 animated series The Duck Factory. The show didn’t do well but it gave Carrey some desperately needed confidence to pursue his acting career.
Carrey continued through the mid 1980’s taking acting roles where he could get them. In 1985 Carrey played Mark Kendall in the horror/comedy Once Bitten. Jim Carrey followed up this film with the 1986 comedy/drama Peggy Sue Got Married where he played the quirky supporting role of Walter Getz. He was getting a little more screen time and his career was getting a bit more traction.
Arguably one of the most important roles Carrey took in the early part of his career was dressing up as the fury alien Wiploc in the corny 1988 comedy Earth Girls are Easy. Although the role gave Carrey another chance to show his abilities at physical comedy the real importance of the role came when he got to work opposite Damon Wayans. Wayans played Wiploc’s sidekick Zeebo and the two had great chemistry. Damon would later consult his brother Keenan Ivory Wayans about bringing Carrey to the sketch comedy show In Living Color which first aired in 1990. It was In Living Color that let Carrey do what he was so good at, making people laugh through physical comedy. The show lasted five seasons in which Carrey performed in 123 episodes wrapping up in 1994 which ended up being the best year in Carrey’s career.
In February of 1994 Jim Carrey released the hit comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. This comedy really launched Carrey’s career and proved that he could command the big screen and that his brand of comedy was in demand. Later that same year Jim Carrey performed opposite Jeff Daniels in the hilarious comedy Dumb & Dumber which was his first multi-million dollar movie paycheck. Along with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Dumb & Dumber Carrey also released The Mask where he played Stanley Ipkiss. All in all 1994 was a pretty productive year for the actor.
Jim Carrey was now on a roll and the film offers started coming in. In 1995 he was offered the part of The Riddler in Batman Forever where he was able to put his comedy twist on his disturbed character. Since Ace Ventura: Pet Detective was such a hit there was a follow-up which didn’t perform nearly as well titled Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. Following his Ace Ventura finale he played the socially awkward Cable Guy in The Cable Guy in 1996 which earned him a cool $20 million, which at the time was the most money ever paid to a comedy actor.
Coming off the heels of two less than stellar comedy films Carrey decided to expand his acting offering and take a dramatic acting roll in the 1998 film The Truman Show. The movie, and Carrey’s performance, were both brilliant and provided an excellent step into acting in drama films. In 1999 Carrey took on the comedic roll of Andy Kaufman in the movie Man on The Moon.
In 2001 Carrey revisited his dramatic acting when he took the roll of Peter Appleton in the film The Majestic. The film allowed Carrey to take on a roll that was a bit more serious than The Truman Show and proved that he could pull of the genre. It wouldn’t be long before Carrey would return to his comfort zone. In 1993 Carrey played opposite Morgan Freeman in the hilarious comedy Bruce Almighty. Jim Carrey got to play God for a week which provided him great material to accompany his comedic style.
Carrey’s best dramatic performance came in in 2004 when he played Joel Barish opposite Kate Winslett in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The two created an amazing on screen pair and with the help of Michel Gondry created a fantastic world of the unconscious. The film and actors were deservedly well decorated with awards receiving 50 nominations and winning 38 awards.
The remainder of the 2000’s Jim Carrey provided very entertaining performances in: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Fun with Dick and Jane, The Number 23, Horton Hears a Who!, Yes Man, A Christmas Carol. Most recently Jim Carrey his provided his comedy in the comedy I Love You Phillip Morris.
Jim Carrey is still going strong and working on the upcoming Mr. Poppers Penguins set to release in 2011. Carrey plays Mr. Popper who is a established businessman who inherits penguins and converts his Apartment into a winter wonderland. This film is directed by Mark Waters (Freaky Friday, Mean Girls) and should provide for some great comedy moments.
Jim Carrey Movies and Character Roles
Check out all of Jim Carrey's movie performances below.