We take a look back at the life of the "incurable extrovert" who was the first man to command $20m a movie and whom Jack Nicholson described as the "Jack Nicholson of the next generation". Now, that is dumb.
One critic once memorably observed that Jim Carrey's films "may be dumb...but at least they're not stupid."
That's probably why they've grossed more than $2.3 bn. And he's still not yet 50.
Carrey's clowning has given way to more considered roles in a career that has received the greatest plaudits where he has had his "sensible" hat on - The Truman Show, Man on the Moon and I Love You Phillip Morris.
However, it was the manic - sometimes hysterical - comedy of Ace Ventura, The Mask, The Cable Guy and Me, Myself & Irene - where he made his commercial mark...and ramped up his midas touch at the box office.
The youngest of three siblings, he was born in Newmarket, Ontario the son of a French/Irish mother and French-Canadian accountant and aspiring jazz saxophone-playing father.
Even at an early age he performed constantly, for his family and classmantes and even mailed his résumé to the American TV skit programme The Carol Burnett Show aged just 10.
However, life in the idyllic suburb where they lived came to an abrupt end when their father was forced to relocate to Toronto and the whole family were obliged to take caretaking jobs in a tyre factory.
Despite an eight hour shift after school, the ebullient Carrey - sensing a silver lining in their camper van cloud - discovered that his zany routines also cheered up his deeply-depressed mother.
The grim experience hit Carrey's school grades but he caught the performance bug after making his (apparently appalling) stand-up debut at local comedy club Yuk-Yuk's.
One reviewer in the Toronto Star raved that Carrey was "a genuine star coming to life."
Dropping out of high school, he polished his celebrity impersonations (among them Michael Landon and James Stewart), and in 1979 worked up the nerve to move to Los Angeles.
Next up he landed a regular gig at The Comedy Store, where he impressed Rodney Dangerfield so much that the veteran comic signed him as an opening act for an entire season.
Off stage, he met and married comedy club waitress Melissa Womer, with whom he had a daughter (Jane), but the ccouple later divorced messily, freeing Carrey for a brief second marriage to actress Lauren Hutton.
Professionally, he had expanded his range, auditioning for Saturday Night Live, and was cast as novice cartoonist Skip in the short-lived 1984 sitcom The Duck Factory but bounced back with the lead role in the misfiring comedy Once Bitten as a teen virgin being pursued by a 400-year-old vampire.
Next up came a supporting gig opposite a young Nic Cage in director Francis Ford Coppola's retro romantic comedy Peggy Sue Got Married and as a drug-addled rock star victim in Clint Eatwood thriller The Dead Pool.
His friendship with fellow comedian Damon Wayans, who co-starred with Carrey as an extraterrestrial in 1989's Earth Girls Are Easy, led to a regular role in Wayans' brother Keenen's comedy show Living Colour.
Carrey's unusual roster of characters included masochistic, accident-prone safety inspector Fire Marshall Bill (who was attacked by watchdogs for dispensing ill-advised safety tips) and masculine female body-builder Vera de Milo.
It wasn't until 1994 that he would experience real film stardom with Ace Venture: Pet Detective, a comedy making the most of Carrey's physical humour, panned by critics but loved by audiences.
He consolidated his success the same year with the manic laugh-o-thon The Mask (opposite newcomer Cameron Diaz) and the Farrelly Brothers' Dumb & Dumber playing a simple-minded dolt for which he was paid $7m.
On a roll, his commercial stock rose considerably when he was paid $20m - the first actor to do so - to play a psychotic TV installer in director Ben Stiller's The Cable Guy.
"Suddenly earning $20m a picture didn't make me feel any different. I didn't know how much it meant to people until everybody started freaking out about it, and I went: 'Well, somebody had to get paid that much,' he said.
After Carrey hooked up with Ace Ventura director Tom Shadyac for the energetic comedy Liar Liar, the actor switched styles completely and won critical plaudits for the Golden Globe-winning role of naive salesman Truman Burbank in director Peter Weir's dark satire The Truman Show.
Sticking with sober roles (sort of) he next starred as eccentric funnyman Andy Kaufman in the well-received biopic Man on the Moon for which he picked up a second Golden Globe.
Reteaming with the Farrellys, he starred in the split personality comedy Me, Myself & Irene with Renee Zellwegger (with whom he enjoyed a brief relationship) and reteamed with Shadyac for the successful comedy Bruce Almighty which saw him taking issue with Morgan Freeman's God.
Reverting to serious mode, he impressed in the surreal love story Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in which he played a distraught lover who finds his girlfriend (Oscar-nominated Kate Winslet) has had the memories of their affair erased.
Next up a bald-pated Carrey shone as evil Count Olaf in the criminally underrated children's thriller Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and followed that with a turn as a reluctant bankrobber Dick in the uncessary remake of Fun with Dick and Jane.
In 2007, the actor reunited with Joel Schumacher, director of Batman Forever, for The Number 23, a psychological thriller co-starring Virginia Madsen and Danny Huston.
In his second Dr Seuss film (after 2000's The Grinch), Carrey voiced the pally pachyderm in the enjoyable animation Horton Hears A Who and went to play a bank clerk who learns never to say no in Yes Man, a romantic comedy based in Brit writer Danny Wallace's novel.
I Love You Phillip Morris gave him the chance to outrageously camp it up in the barely believable tale of a gay fraudster who falls in love with fellow jailbird Ewan McGregor.
In 2009 he voiced Ebenezer Scrooge in the animated A Christmas Carol and most recently played estate agent Tom Popper who finds himself the reluctant guardian of a crate-load of penguins in Mr Popper's Penguins.