The Tragic Life of Jim Carrey
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Richard Bush
This rubber-faced king of comedy pretty well defined silly, slapstick humor in the '90s, with movies like “Dumb and Dumber” and “Liar Liar” becoming instant classics. But just because he makes us laugh on camera, doesn't mean he's necessarily happy off it. Jim Carrey's life has been a rollercoaster of hilarious highs and regretful lows, the latter of which being unfortunately plentiful throughout. In this video, we explore the Heartbreaking Life of Jim Carrey. What do YOU think is the most heartbreaking aspect of Jim Carrey's life? Let us know in the comments!
Script written by Richard Bush
The Heartbreaking Life of Jim Carrey
This rubber-faced king of comedy pretty well defined silly, slapstick humor in the '90s, with movies like “Dumb and Dumber” and “Liar Liar” becoming instant classics. But just because he makes us laugh on camera, doesn't mean he’s necessarily happy off it. Jim Carrey’s life has been a rollercoaster of hilarious highs and regretful lows, the latter of which being unfortunately plentiful throughout. In this video, we explore the Heartbreaking Life of Jim Carrey.
Born in Newmarket, Ontario, and raised and schooled in a handful of cities in Southern Ontario, Jim Carrey has always been the loud, expressionist kid vying for attention, pulling faces, and doing voices. And at the age of just 10, he wrote a letter to Carol Burnett of the “Carol Burnett Show”, explaining how his impressions would make him a perfect addition to the line-up. He didn’t get the part, but did get a form rejection letter that somehow didn’t deter him from reaching for the stars. Any spare time he had on his hands would be used to work on his act. Unfortunately for Jim, there were severe financial setbacks early on his comedy career. When he was 14, his father Percy lost his job, resulting in the family becoming homeless and living in a van for a short while. Jim, his father and his two siblings would make ends meet with janitorial work.
Jim’s father was keen to support his career, driving him around to gigs as he attempted to make a name for himself, but his mother and father struggled to support him financially. Eventually the family were able to move into a house again, and as a result, Jim was able to put together a more polished act for the stage. But with his mother falling ill, Jim was forced to drop out of school when he was just 16 to help his family. This did, however, allow the young comedian to dedicate more time to his craft – and no matter what, he was determined to succeed, with every roadblock seemingly serving as further inspiration to make something of himself. Even when he was devastated with the passing of his mother in 1991, or when his father died just three years later.
With performances at the The Comedy Store, a support slot for Rodney Dangerfield and early TV credits to include “An Evening at the Improv”, “The Duck Factory” and of course a regular spot on “In Living Color”, Carrey was slowly but surely climbing the comedy pecking order. And what followed were monumental roles in the likes of “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”, “The Mask”, and “Dumb and Dumber”, all of which were in the same year, by the way. But during his rise to fame, Carrey found himself in the press numerous times for a different reason – his love life.
In 1987 he married actress Melissa Womer, but they divorced in 1995. Jim also married “Dumb and Dumber” co-star Lauren Holly, although the marriage lasted less than a year. He was also briefly engaged to Renée Zellweger and in 2005 met model and actress Jenny McCarthy, who he dated until 2010. In fact, it was his relationship with McCarthy, a huge supporter of the anti-vaxxer movement, which saw Carrey back the same movement and receive heavy criticism in the press. Perhaps his most controversial relationship however was with make-up artist Cathriona White, whom he met in 2012. Their on-off relationship was very much tied to their bond over depression, something of which Jim has spoken out about in great depth.
Although only a fairly recent confession by Carrey, depression has very much been a huge factor in his life for a long time. He has spoken out about how his depression was linked to his struggle with identity. In fact, during his time filming “Man on the Moon” in 1999, Carrey immersed himself in method acting and become the former comedian Andy Kaufman who he was portraying. There was even a documentary, entitled “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond”, which explored the severity of Jim’s characterization and ultimately the devastating effects it had on his own struggle with depression. Carrey has openly admitted that he feels Jim Carrey was merely a character he was playing in order to fulfill what he thought people wanted to see – which, in turn, lead him down a path of unfulfillment.
In 2015, Cathriona White, the former girlfriend Carrey once bonded with over their shared problems with depression, took her own life via drug overdose, and a note found after her death but written years prior cited some of Jim's actions – including mental abuse and supplying drugs – which her family viewed as likely contributing factors as to why she took her own life. As a result, White’s husband filed a lawsuit against Carrey – as did White’s mother in 2016, implying that Carrey not only supplied her with drugs, but also gave White an STD, which further added to her depressive state. In 2018, the lawsuits were dismissed.
Since Carrey went public about his struggles with depression, he has surrounded himself with a spiritual lifestyle, ensuring he stays true to himself through meditation and self-reflection. In fact, his so called strange behavior in recent interviews can be accredited to his spiritualism. Basically, he no longer cares about playing the person everyone wants to see, he’s much happier in his own skin, doing what he wants. He’s still very much the kid from humble beginnings who wants to make people laugh, it’s just took him a while to discover the person he truly wants to be.
And that… is the heartbreaking life of Jim Carrey. Sure, we remember him for his side-splitting comedies, but we can learn a lot from his journey to find happiness and to love himself. Hopefully it can serve as inspiration for many of us.