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Born: Jan. 17, 1962 Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Jim Carrey is the only person who can make Robin Williams seem quiet. A comic and actor with a Silly Putty face, the Canadian-born Carrey’s career took an amazing turn with his Golden Globe-nominated role in The Truman Show. Suddenly he became more than just “that crazy guy” and developed into an actor that people were watching closely.
Jim Carrey started playing the comedy clubs in Canada when he was fifteen. He then toured throughout the States. After getting cast in Richard Lester’s Finders Keepers he landed the starring role in The Duck Factory, a short-lived flop set in an animation studio.
Roles like Peggy Sue Got Married and Earth Girls Are Easy followed, but he really caught the attention of the audience when he was made part of the ensemble in FOX’s sketch comedy show In Living Color. His gift for physical comedy and impersonations made him the must-watch member of the cast.
His rocket ride to fame was really ignited when he starred in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective which surprised everyone by becoming a giant hit. He followed that with another physical comedy The Mask, which also featured a then unknown Cameron Diaz.
How do you follow two big hits? With a third, of course. Teamed up with Jeff Daniels, Carrey starred in Dumb and Dumber, a film that had him looking, as well as acting, like Jerry Lewis. It was on that set that he met his second, and now ex-wife, Lauren Holly.
A year later in 1995, Carrey grabbed the best reviews for his role as the Riddler in Batman Forever, then made a bankable sequel Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.
Jim Carrey then shocked the industry by landing a $20 million payday for The Cable Guy. This darker comedy didn’t do as well as expected at the box office and many said it was because Carrey had veered away from his tried and true physical shtick.
Liar, Liar came next and was a winner with the audiences. Though Jim did a lot of the usual rubber-faced pranks, his role as a father also had a tinge of warmth to it not previously seen in his work. The film set the table for his Golden Globe winning performance in The Truman Show which took Carrey’s acting to a new level.
The Globes really seem to like Jim. In December of 2000, Carrey was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. That same year he also starred in the comedy Me, Myself & Irene.
After he starred in the poorly-received The Majestic in 2001, Jim took some time off. The rest seemd to do him good, very good, as his next film, Bruce Almighty (with Jennifer Aniston and Morgan Freeman) was a huge smash hit.
He took a more dramatic turn in 2004’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and ended off the year playing Count Olaf in the big-screen adaptation of the popular children’s book, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
In 2005, Jim appeared with Téa Leoni in a remake of the 1977 film Fun with Dick and Jane. Though his 2007 flick Number 23 disappeared pretty quickly, he had a family hit with the animated Horton Hears a Who! in 2008.