When I first saw this crazy guy on In Living Color in the early 90’s I didn’t pay him much mind, but as he began his movie career I wanted to see everything he was in!
After seeing this complete nut Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber I was hooked, but for Jim, it didn’t just happen overnight! If you’ve ever seen his bio on Biography tv it was an emotional story of family poverty and rough nights at comedy clubs where a humbled but extremely determined young man started.
Born in 1962 in Canada where he started in comedy, Jim had a difficult upbringing, as he said; “Going from lower class to poverty” once his father lost his job as a musician. At 15 Jim took a janitor job to help pay the family bills and for a time they were homeless living out of a van. Working full time to help support his family Jim didn’t finish schooling.
His early career as a comedian and trying impersonations bombed but the family gained enough money to be in a home again, it was from this more stable environment Jim could take another shot at comedy.
Jim was soon noticed by one of my favorites, Rodney Dangerfield and began to open for him in 1980-2, he then went to Vegas and Hollywood where he worked at The Comedy Store and the TV show An Evening at the Improv.
With a series of ups and mostly downs, trying a new stand up act, a few low budget movies, bit parts in larger movies, success didn’t just fall in his lap!
By 1990 Jim helped work on In Living Color and by the 3rd season was one of the last remaining originals on the show. This opened doors and finally a starring role in Ace Ventura, Pet Detective in 1994. While the critics dismissed the film it went on to be a box office hit globally and in the same year Jim landed two more leading roles, Mask, and Dumb and Dumber! All three of these films rocked the box office! Dumb and Dumber grossed $270 million!
He went on to play the Riddler on Batman Forever, Ace Ventura 2 (When Nature Calls), and The Cable Guy all grossing over $100 million and Ace Ventura 2 over $200 million, now the once homeless Jim Carrey was making $20 million per movie!
A movie I enjoyed was also Liar Liar that was a huge success he went on to the Truman Show and Man in the Moon which won him critical acclaim and Golden Globe awards. The Grinch, Bruce Almighty, Lemony Snickets, Fun with Dick and Jane, plus many others and much more to come, apparently Dumb and Dumber To will get off the ground for release in 2014.
One look at his zany personal site will tell you he’s crazy, fun, but also a concerned person about causes such as his Better U Foundation, a system for growing rice at a much higher yield in poorer countries. Also against over vaccinating children which Dr Mercola agrees as these can have toxic side effects.
While still quite poor and performing sometimes for free he wrote himself a check for $10 million, 15 years later he was making enough to cash it! It’s a great story, as he was working in a plant, living in their on site farmhouse and then in a VW van, from homeless to be one of the biggest stars in the world. Till next time, God Bless,