James Eugene "Jim" Carrey (born January 17, 1962) is a Canadian-American actor and comedian. He has received two Golden Globe Awards and has also been nominated on four occasions. Carrey began stand-up comedy in 1979, performing at Yuk Yuk's in Toronto, Ontario. After gaining prominence in 1981, he began working at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles where he was soon noticed by comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who immediately signed him to open his tour performances. Carrey, long interested in film and television, developed a close friendship with comedian Damon Wayans, which landed him a role in the sketch comedy hit In Living Color, in which he portrayed various characters during the show's 1990 season. Having had little success in television movies and several low-budget films, Carrey was cast as the title character in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective which premiered in February, 1994 making more than $72 million domestically. The film spawned a sequel, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995), in which he reprised the role of Ventura. These higher-profile roles eventually led to his being cast as Stanley Ipkiss in The Mask (1994) for which he gained a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, and as Lloyd Christmas in the comedy film Dumb and Dumber (1994). Between 1996 and 1999, Carrey continued his success after earning lead roles in several highly popular films including The Cable Guy (1996), Liar Liar (1997), in which he was nominated for another Golden Globe Award and in the critically acclaimed films The Truman Show and Man on the Moon, in 1998 and 1999, respectively. Both films earned Carrey Golden Globe awards. Since earning both awards — the only two in his three-decade career— Carrey continued to star in comedy films, including How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) where he played the title character, Bruce Almighty (2003) where he portrayed the role of unlucky TV reporter Bruce Nolan, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004), Fun with Dick and Jane (2005), and Yes Man (2008). Carrey has also taken on more serious roles including Joel Barish in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) alongside Kate Winslet and Kirsten Dunst, which earned him another Golden Globe nomination, and Steven Jay Russell in I Love You Phillip Morris (2010) alongside Ewan McGregor.
In 1979, under the management of Leatrice Spevack, Carrey started doing stand-up comedy at Yuk Yuk's in Toronto, where he rose to become a headliner in February 1981, shortly after his 19th birthday. One reviewer in the Toronto Star raved that Carrey was "a genuine star coming to life." In the early 1980s, Carrey moved to Los Angeles and started working at The Comedy Store, where he was noticed by comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who signed the young comedian to open Dangerfield's tour performances. Carrey then turned his attention to the film and television industries, auditioning to be a cast member for the 1980–1981 season of NBC's Saturday Night Live. Carrey was not selected for the position (although he did host the show in May 1996, and again in January 2011). Joel Schumacher had him audition for a role in D.C. Cab, though in the end, nothing ever came of it. His first lead role on television was Skip Tarkenton, a young animation producer on NBC's short-lived The Duck Factory, airing from April 12, 1984, to July 11, 1984, and offering a behind-the-scenes look at the crew that produced a children's cartoon. Carrey continued working in smaller film and television roles, which led to a friendship with fellow comedian Damon Wayans, who co-starred with Carrey as an extraterrestrial in 1989's Earth Girls Are Easy. When Wayans' brother Keenen began developing a sketch comedy show for Fox called In Living Color, Carrey was hired as a cast member, whose unusual characters included masochistic, accident-prone safety inspector Fire Marshall Bill, and masculine female bodybuilder Vera de Milo.
Carrey made his film debut in Rubberface (1981), which was released as Introducing...Janet. Later that year, he won the leading role in Damian Lee's Canadian skiing comedy Copper Mountain, which included his impersonation of Sammy Davis Jr. Since the film had a less than one hour runtime consisting largely of musical performances by Rita Coolidge and Rompin' Ronnie Hawkins, it was not considered a genuine feature film. Two years later, in 1985, Carrey saw his first major starring role in the dark comedy Once Bitten, in the role of Mark Kendall, a teen virgin pursued by a 400-year old female vampire (played by Lauren Hutton). After supporting roles in films such as Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), Earth Girls Are Easy (1988), and The Dead Pool (1988), Carrey did not experience true stardom until starring in the 1994 comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, which premiered only months before In Living Color ended. Ace Ventura was panned by critics, and earned Carrey a 1995 Golden Raspberry Award nomination as Worst New Star. But the film was as embraced by fans as it was derided by critics. The Ventura character became a pop icon, and the film made Carrey a superstar. It was a huge commercial success, as were his two other starring roles from that year: The Mask and Dumb and Dumber. In 1995, Carrey appeared as the Riddler in Batman Forever and reprised his role as Ace Ventura in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. Both films were successful at the box office and earned Carrey multi-million-dollar paychecks. Carrey earned $20 million for his next film, The Cable Guy (directed by Ben Stiller), a record sum for a comedy actor. The cult film did not do well with critics, but Carrey quickly rebounded with the successful Liar Liar, a return to his trademark comedy style.
He attended a Presbyterian Church with his family in the early 1990s. He is a fan of death metal band Cannibal Corpse, who made a cameo appearance in Ace Ventura, at his request for the band to be featured in the film. Carrey received U.S. citizenship on October 7, 2004, and now maintains dual citizenship of both the U.S. and his native Canada, where he has had a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto since 1998. He went public about his bouts with depression in a November 2004 interview on 60 Minutes. Carrey has also launched public awareness campaigns, by way of internet videos which shed light on the political repression in Burma; especially that of Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, whom he describes as a personal hero. Carrey is a great admirer and friend of Eckhart Tolle, and in June 2009, Carrey gave an introduction for Tolle when together they headlined the first conference of the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment. In Los Angeles on February 27, 2010, Carrey announced via his Twitter account that he had become a grandfather when his daughter Jane gave birth to her first child with musician husband Alex Santana, who performs in the band Blood Money under the stage name Nitro. He announced that his grandson's name was Jackson Riley Santana. Carrey has been married twice, first to former actress and Comedy Store waitress Melissa Womer on March 28, 1987; the two were officially divorced in late 1995. Their only child, a daughter named Jane Erin Carrey, was born on September 6, 1987, in Los Angeles County. After his separation from Womer in 1994, Carrey began dating his Dumb and Dumber co-star Lauren Holly. They were married on September 23, 1996; the marriage lasted less than a year. Carrey dated actress Renée Zellweger, whom he met on the set of Me, Myself & Irene, but their relationship ended with a broken engagement in December 2000. In the May 2006 issue of Playboy Magazine (p. 48), it was mentioned that he was dating model Anine Bing. In December 2005, Carrey began dating actress/model Jenny McCarthy. They did not make their relationship public until June 2006. She announced on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on April 2, 2008, that the two were then living together, but had no plans to marry; as they do not need a "piece of paper." In April 2010, Carrey and McCarthy ended their near five-year relationship. He is rumored to be dating ANTM contestant Anchal Joseph. With former partner Jenny McCarthy, Carrey has become a vocal opponent of childhood MMR vaccination, not only writing in the Huffington Post but also using his celebrity status to obstruct a childhood vaccination scheme. His opposition to vaccination is contrary to the scientific consensus that no evidence links the vaccine to the development of autism, and that the vaccine's benefits greatly outweigh its risks.