Dumb and Dumber Weak (sic): Jim Carrey’s rocky road from Scarborough to Hollywood — ‘He was born to do it’

November 13, 2014 12:02 PM

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At about the time Jim Carrey was making his first appearance at the Toronto comedy club Yuk Yuks, he was 16 years old, a Grade 9 dropout and had spent the previous eight months living in a tent with two siblings in Charles Daley Park in Lincoln, Ont. It was 1978, and the family’s fortunes were dire, but slowly improving: His father would gain employment in the accounting department at the Titan Wheels Factory in Scarborough and, in exchange for living in the house across the street, the Carreys would clean the building every night, from 6 p.m. into the next morning. It seems like the stuff of Dickens and certainly paints Carrey — who would become the first comic actor to earn US$20-million for a single film — as someone who grew up trying to inject levity into a grim situation that only grew worse (his mother struggled her whole life with mental health issues).

However, Rita Carrey, a year older than her brother Jim, paints the opposite picture. Now 54, she says her father was a natural comedian and even when times were at their bleakest — when it got cold in the park, when their mother was suicidal — Jim’s humour didn’t come from pain, but was second natu...

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