The man with the rubber face and bigger-than-life grin was born James Eugene Carrey in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. He began clowning for his classmates early but left school in grade nine because of financial difficulties in the family. At the age of 15, he began performing at Toronto's Yuk Yuk's Comedy Club, which led to a national tour as a stand up comedian.
At 19, he moved to Los Angeles and performed regularly at Mitzi Shore's Comedy Store. At his outrageous best, Carrey appeared on stage, a sock strategically placed over his private parts. Predictably, antics like this created waves and Carrey was soon spotted by Rodney Dangerfield, the veteran comedian known for discovering and nurturing new talent. The sock schtick launched Carrey on a tour with Dangerfield.
Carrey went on to television's In Living Color in 1990, establishing his hallmark physical comedy for a national audience. Four years later, he was a major box office draw with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber. In 1997, he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. That same year he filmed Liar Liar.
Carrey has a daughter with his first wife, Melissa Wormer, and settled their public divorce at a cost of $7 million. He married actress Lauren Holly in 1996 but his second marriage lasted less than a year. He later proposed to Renée Zellweger after they co-starred in Me, Myself and Irene (2000), but the relationship fell apart before they made it to the altar. On the up side, Jim made a record $20 million for his portrayal of The Cable Guy. His paycheck went up to $25 million for Bruce Almighty , which pulled in over $80 million during its first weekend at the box office. Unfortunately, his star turn in the highly anticipated Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) was a disappointment -- the film, based on the first of a series of books was expected to be a hit along the lines of the Harry Potter series, but instead the film didn't even make its initial investment back at the box office.
In December 2001, he announced his intention to become a United States citizen, saying he credited the country for giving him his success. "To me, this country defined me. This country allowed my dreams to come true." Carrey plans to retain his Canadian citizenship as well, and adds, "I always felt growing up that America was a big brother, protecting us in the school yard."
L.A.-born Deschanel knew what she was getting herself into when striving to make it in the film industry. As a child she spent much of her time on location with her mother, actress Mary Joe. Though she followed in her mother's footsteps, Deschanel credits her father, Academy Award- nominated cinematographer, Caleb, as her inspiration for her sense of style, which is more reminiscent of early Hollywood than the current trend in teen acting.
After graduating from Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica, she tested out her acting skills on stage. Her performance as Little Red Riding Hood in the musical Into the Woods earned her numerous accolades.
Following her television debut in an episode of Veronica's Closet, she made her big screen debut in Mumford, playing a troubled young woman obsessed with models. Her performance impressed critics, and film offers soon began rolling in. In 2000, she was featured in the ensemble of the Cameron Crowe film Almost Famous, playing the older sister of the character based on Crowe. She followed up Crowe's film with two comedies, Big Trouble and The New Guy (both 2002). In 2003, she won a Silver OmbÃº at the Mar del Plata Film Festival as Best Actress for her role in All the Real Girls. Later that year, she played Jovie in the hit holiday comedy Elf, co-starring alongside Will Ferrell. The film went on to gross over US$173 million at the domestic box office.
Deschanel is also a talented ukulele player and has written a screenplay.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, John Michael Higgins is known for his chameleon-like ability to play a wide range of diverse characters. He first came to attention playing David Letterman in the highly-acclaimed HBO film The Late Shift. He later earned praise for his performance as the flamboyant Shih Tzu handler, Scott Donlon, in Christopher Guest's hit ensemble comedy Best in Show (2000).
Higgins made his film debut in Vampire's Kiss (1989) starring Nicolas Cage, then toiled mostly in television for the next few years, playing guest roles on series such as Miami Vice, Cybill, Seinfeld and Party of Five before he taking on his second feature film, Wag the Dog (1997).
He's since played a recurring role on Fox's critically acclaimed series Arrested Development, and has also appeared on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Joey and Boston Legal.
Higgins' recent big screen credits include Evan Almighty (2007) opposite Steve Carell and Morgan Freeman; The Break-Up (2006) with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston; Fun with Dick and Jane (2005) starring Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni; and Blade: Trinity (2004) with Wesley Snipes.
He also stars in the comedy feature Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) starring John C. Reilly and Still Waiting (2008) with Justin Long. He can soon be seen in Yes Man (2008), co-starring Jim Carrey.
Higgins is married to actress Margaret Welsh. They have a son, Walter, born August 29, 2006.