Jim Carrey Lived In A Car, Quit School, And Worked 8-Hour Shifts As A Janitor In His Teen Years

Jim Carrey Lived In A Car, Quit School, And Worked 8-Hour Shifts As A Janitor In His Teen Years

Life was not always a bed of roses for Jim Carrey.

Image Source: IMDb/Liar Liar

Over the years, Jim Carrey has become a name associated with laughter and joy. He is a pleasure to watch on screen and his stellar acting needs no introduction and the talented actor can make anyone laugh with his antics. What we don't know is that Carrey's humor stems from a dark place, one filled with darkness and despair that he had to deal with in the past. Born into a normal, middle-class family from Newmarket, Canada on January 17, 1962. Jim Carrey found it hard to make friends in school due to his dyslexia, according to Successgroove. However, he did not let his learning disability deter him. As he worked through it, he developed a good memory in the process. 


With time, he realized that he could make friends because he had the ability to make them laugh. One teacher wrote on his report card: “Jim finishes his work first and then disrupts the class.” However, Carrey's life changed dramatically after his father lost his job and his mother fell sick, according to People. His father, a saxophone player, worked as an accountant, but when Carrey was 12, he lost his job. The family was forced to live out of a car, according to The Loop. His family lived out of a beat-up yellow Volkswagen camper van for a full eight months, parking in campgrounds. “We lived in a van for a while, and we worked all together as security guards and janitors,” he told James Lipton on Inside the Actor’s Studio. During 10th grade, Carrey would attend school and then work 8-hour night shifts to help the family financially.


Working “an eight hour day in a factory” after school left him wanting to “bash somebody’s head in.” He soon went from a “straight-A student to not wanting to know anybody’s name, and not wanting to make a friend.” He was so exhausted from it all that he just couldn't concentrate in school. Soon enough, he was lonely but he preferred keeping it that way because he did not want anyone to discover his financial situation. At 16, he decided that he'd had it with school, so he quit.  "A lot of people don't know this but when I was about 14 or 15, my father lost his job and I actually became homeless for quite some time, but of course, I grew up in Canada and I thought we'd gone camping," he said according to Nickiswift.


At 21, he made his first appearance on The Tonight Show. “I don’t think human beings learn anything without desperation,” Carrey told CBS of his early success. “Desperation is a necessary ingredient to learning anything or creating anything. Period. If you ain’t desperate at some point, you ain’t interesting.” Rumor has it that Carrey always believed in magic, and in himself. During a time when he was struggling to get roles, he'd drive up to Mulholland Drive, look out at the city, stretch out his arms, and say, “Everyone wants to work with me. I’m a really good actor. I have all kinds of great movie offers.” He'd convince himself that he had signed a couple of movies. and drive back, ready to take on the world.


“Movie offers are out there for me, I just don’t hear them yet.” A regular to Mulholland Drive to dream about his future, Carrey,  on one such trip, wrote himself a post-dated check for $10 Millon, added the notation “for acting services rendered,” and kept it in his wallet since. His dream eventually came true, and in 1995, after the huge box office success of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and Dumb & Dumber, his asking price for one movie was $20 Million! The amount was one that rattled Hollywood, as it was unprecedented at the time, reports Los Angeles Times.  But with fame, also came a lot of unexpected emotional effects. "There's a weightlessness to it," he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.


"You can dream about it all you want, but until you get it, you don't realize that it's really not a place that's very comfortable for very long." With his success, he also found love, but none lasted. He dated fellow actress and comedienne Jenny McCarthy but broke up after 5 years. In 1987, he got married to Melissa Wormer and they had a daughter. After that ended in divorce,  he married his Dumb and Dumber co-star, Lauren Holly, in 1996, but she filed for divorce in July 1997. One source labeled the comedian "a hard guy to date," saying that "Jim can run hot and he can run cold. He is someone who desperately needs to be with someone, then just as desperately needs to be alone. But at the same time, he can be a very loving, very compassionate guy." 


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