Jim Carrey is one of the most renowned comedic actors of the contemporary age. He is known for the physicality of his performances and his exaggerated facial expressions. Though he is famous for making people laugh, he has a predilection for playing dark, even deranged characters.
Carrey was born in Newmarket, Ontario in 1962. His dark sensibilities are the result of his difficult childhood, during which he was forced to leave school and get a job to help support his family. His father had given up on his dream of becoming a successful musician so he could have a stable, family-friendly career, and he ended up losing that job. Growing up, Jim would often wonder why his father had not continued to pursue music despite the narrow odds of success; if the Carreys were destined to struggle anyway, there did not seem to have been a need to place so much value on the so-called “normal” career track. Young Jim was determined to make his living as an actor, even if it meant he would have to struggle for the rest of his life.
Carrey’s early stand-up work was not received well on his local comedy circuit. He was plagued with self-doubt but still pushed himself to keep trying. He got his first big break when Rodney Dangerfield spotted him and asked him to be his opening act. He began performing in Los Angeles in 1982 and appeared on The Tonight Show a year later. He auditioned for Saturday Night Live and was not cast, though he did start to get roles in low-brow films. His film work led to him being cast on In Living Color in 1990. This is when he started developing the persona and acting style that would make him a celebrity, both in Canadian entertainment news and abroad.
Carrey gained mainstream recognition in 1994′s Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. The Mask and Dumb and Dumber hit theaters that same year. He took a dark turn in 1996′s The Cable Guy, and proved the depths of his talent two years later in The Truman Show. Carrey was slowly revealing that he was not just a comedian; he was a true actor who used comedy to make serious statements about the human condition.
Since then, Carrey has alternated between broad comedy and serious roles. He appeared in the Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon, and he put his signature spin on the Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas a few years after that. 2004′s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is considered a modern classic and is notable for featuring what is arguably Carrey’s first completely serious performance. In 2009, he bravely starred in I Love You Phillip Morris, further proving his commitment to interesting and challenging film work.
Jim Carrey continues to push the boundaries of comedy while exploring his deeper side. His success is evidence of the power of persistence and believing in oneself.