Jim Carrey is to the comedy genre of the movie industry what Eminem is to hip-hop, what Mike Tyson is to boxing, what Michael Jordan is to basketball, what Arnold Schwarzenegger is to bodybuilding.
The American-Canadian actor became a huge star in the 90s and took the world by storm with his rubbery body movements and flexible facial expressions. He has a lot of iconic movies under his belt and but the two-time Golden Globe winner is also a devoted family man and daddy.
Given his difficult background, Jim knows how important family is and he didn’t want to make the same mistakes as his own parents.
“I had an odd childhood, it was a lot more messed up than I thought, apparently,” Jim Carrey said in 2003.
The famous actor was born in 1962 in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, and was raised a Roman Catholic with his three older siblings. Growing up, Jim’s family moved around a lot and lived in the suburbs of Toronto. Carrey was reclusive as a child he ”never knew he was supposed to socialise.”
When he was eight, the natural-born comedian started making faces in front of the mirror and discovered he had a talent for doing impressions.
His mom and dad struggled financially, and it was hard for everyone in the family. As a kid, Jim did what he could to cheer them up – he used to go to bed with his tap shoes just in case his parents needed a little laughter in the middle of the night.
But even though Jim tried to fill the house with laughter, the family received a heavy blow when his father lost his job at 51.
”It really broke his heart. It was hard to watch,” Jim told the Edmonton Journal in 1995.
With his family in free fall, Jim dropped out of high school to help support his mother and father. For a while, the whole family worked as janitors and security guards, doing eight-hour shifts at a local wheel-rim factory.
But it was a toxic workplace; the family hated working there and soon realized they were losing themselves to their anger. They quit but then they had no place to live. His mom and dad moved into their Volkswagen, and Jim and his brother spent months living in a tent.
“For a while, we pitched a tent on my sister’s lawn in the country. And then for a while, we went to campsites around Ontario. And we’d use the facilities there and we actually had a lot of fun. We had more fun there than we did when we were doing this job that we didn’t like,” Jim said.
When Jim turned 17, he could support his family by performing comedy at different clubs in downtown Toronto. Unfortunately, during his whole upbringing, the family’s financial situation made it hard for Jim to fulfill his dream of pursuing a career in the show business.
But while performing in Toronto, he made himself a name, and when he turned 19, Jim moved to Los Angeles.
As a regular at the Comedy Story, his career started to take off. In the mid-80s, Jim convinced his parents to move to L.A., and they lived in his apartment. Jim took it upon himself to provide for them, and it wasn’t a problem – he was convinced he would become a massive star.
But suddenly, his career went downhill, and Jim found it difficult to land gigs. In addition, Jim’s mood changed; he was plagued by nightmares and became angry with everything and everyone.
Above all, he began to blame his parents.
“I resented them because there had always been a lot of pressure on me to be the star, to save their lives, to buy them the big house with the pillars – like Elvis, you know? And it came to a head.
“I had no money. I had no jobs. And I couldn’t even come home to my own house because my parents were in the living room smoking. They were lovely people, but they got caught up in thinking they were going to be taken care of.”
While confronting his demons, Carey sent his parents back to Toronto. According to the comedy star, it was the hardest thing he had ever done – but it was necessary.
”I never had another nightmare, never had another fear”.
In the late ’80s, Jim Carrey found love when he met former actress and Comedy Store waitress Melissa Womer. At the time, Melissa “held two jobs, and Jim made $25 a night doing standup – but their love for each other overcame all obstacles.
Framed by a beautiful sunset, the couple tied the knot on March 28, 1987, at a hotel in Santa Monica, California. Six months later, they welcomed a daughter named Jane Erin Carrey. Melissa worked throughout her pregnancy, and Jim earned $150 a week when Jane was born.
Unfortunately, the marriage would crash when Jim catapulted into film stardom in the early 1990s. The man Melissa married in 1987 was a completely different person a few years later, according to her.
”I was happy to take on the traditional wife and mother roles. He knows I’m a good woman, a good wife, a good mother. But, you know what? He’s not good husband material. Marriage takes empathy, commitment and sacrifice. The dude has changed,” Melissa told The Spokesman-Review in 1995.
Jim Carrey in the 90s was a force.
I remember knowing when his appearances on late-night talk shows would be and my mom would let me stay up to watch.
He became a superstar with his comic persona and physical comedy, made millions, and could’ve stuck with that the rest of his career, but instead kept pushing himself and is equally talented in more dramatic roles, even starring in great films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Truman Show.
But there were concerns about whether Jim would take responsibility as a father. At the height of his career, everyone wanted a piece of the genius comedian but the A-lister didn’t shy away from his fatherly duties.
While balancing his own career, Jim made everything in his power to make sure Jane would have every possibility to strive for her dreams. And believe it or not, Jim actually learned something from his own father that he has passed on to his daughter.
“I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you could fail at what you don’t love, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love,” Carrey said and continued:
“I’ve often said that I wish people could realize all their dreams and wealth and fame, so that they could see that it’s not where they’re gonna find their sense of completion.”
Today, Jane has turned 35 years old, and apparently, she’s a woman of many talents.
She’s a singer in a band called ”The Jane Carrey Band.” She also appeared in the 11th season of American Idol when she was 24. Jane auditioned with the song “Something to Talk About” by Bonnie Raitt. Unfortunately, she was eliminated from the show pretty early on.
Anyways, her father was very proud of her performance.
“She’s so wonderful and amazing to me. I can’t wait for the world to understand what she has inside of her. This is going to be a fantastic year,” Jim Carrey gushed when talking to Ryan Seacrest on the show.
Jane Carrey has also followed in her dad’s footsteps, dipping her toes into acting. She has appeared on Catfish: The TV Show, starring as herself. And in 2014, she wrote several soundtracks for the Dumb and Dumber To movie.
Together with his father, Jane has also helped out in various fundraisers for Autism. In her private life, Jim Carrey’s daughter has had her ups and downs. She married Alex Santana, a performer and guitarist, in 2009.
Sadly, it was a short-lived union. After a year, the couple went their separate ways, but they were blessed with a son in February 2010.
“Jane is going to be a great mom,” Jim said when he got the news.
Jane’s only child, Jackson Riley Santana, is now 12.
“I’m excited about it because I never really got along with girls growing up,” Jane told People just before Jackson arrived into the world.
“I was a little afraid that if it was a girl, that she would not like me, you know? So I’m very happy about the boy.”
With that said, Jim Carrey is now a proud grandpa and he’s thrilled about it! When the actor was promoting his new film Sonic the Hedgehog in 2020, he opened up about his relationship with his grandson.
”I do [play videogames with him], and he humiliates me. He not only does that but he trash-talks me the entire time. I put money in the curse jar, I keep doing that. I think I owe him about 500 bucks,” Jim shared.
As we have seen, Jim Carrey has starred in several iconic movies, and many of his role interpretations have become legendary. Jim had a gift of humor that he shared with the world, and we’re so thankful for all the memories he has created over the years.
But there is one role that he regrets.
In Kick-Ass 2, Jim played a masked vigilante and a born-again Christian called Colonel Stars and Stripes. Just months before the movie was released in 23, Jim Carrey withdrew support for the film on account of the amount of violence.
”I did Kickass a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence,” the actor wrote on Twitter in June of 2013, adding, ”I meant to say my apologies to others involve [sic] with the film.