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BIOGRAPHYPage 2 of 5
The next movie to showcase his talents was "The Mask" with a young, then unknown, Cameron Diaz. Again the public loved the zany half animated antics and his sheer energy and skill were well received by his peers earning him a Golden Globe nomination.
At home however things were not going so well, as his marriage became under strain. The next movie was to prove the breaking point.
"Dumb & Dumber" was a universal smash hit. A comedy about 2 idiots returning a briefcase was made for $16 million and netted a whopping $246 million meaning in 1994 his movies had generated a massive $550 million. He was now the biggest movie star on the planet at last. But the joy was short lived, when finally his marriage to Melissa collapsed resulting in a particularly bad divorce. He sought solace in the arms of his "Dumb & Dumber" co-star Lauren Holly who denied any involvement in the marriage break-up.
An educated middle class successful actress in her own right Lauren and Jim would fall in love and later marry, only to divorce amid rumours of infidelity several months later. But whilst his personal life was taking a hammering his professional life was pushing him into the stratosphere.
Joining the Batman Franchise in 1995 he gave an exceptional performance as The Riddler in "Batman Forever" blowing ALL his co-stars off the screen much to Val Kilmer and Tommy Lee Jones' horror.
Next came the 'follow up' to "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective", "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls". Another huge box office hit Ace WNC was to pull in over $100 million and sealed Jim's identity as one of the highest grossing movie stars on the screen.
Next came the first huge pay check, $20 million for "The Cable Guy". Directed by Ben Stiller and co-starring Mathew Broderick, "The Cable Guy" saw Jim's first disappointing return at the box office. Critics had not like the darkness of the movie and the public stayed away, fuelling speculation that Jim was past his best.
Not so however. The next movie "Liar Liar" saw Jim re-teamed with his 'Ace Ventura' director Peter Shadyac. The result was a hilarious parody of the 'honest' lawyer, a lawyer who cannot lie. Back on form again Jim blew the sceptics away earning another Golden Globe nomination and drawing $200 million at the box office.
The next movie however was to prove groundbreaking for Jim. "The Truman Show", directed by Peter Weir was a semi-serious poignant forerunner to our current reality TV culture. It earned Jim a Golden Globe and finally the critics were forced to admit that Jim was a serious acting talent as well as a comedian.
Jim's next project "Man on the Moon" the biopic of comedian Andy Kaufman earned him another Golden Globe, the respect of his co-stars and peers and demonstrated how dedicated he could be to his craft as he emerged himself in the method acting technique.
With two well respected movies, 2 Golden Globes but still no Academy nominations Jim decided to return to humour. "Me Myself & Irene", directed by the Farrelly brothers, tackled the subject of mental illness and tellingly was not received well by the critics, but the public welcomed his return to comedy. It was also the starting point of Jim's well-publicised romance with his co-star Renée Zellweger, a romance which collapsed amid speculation at Christmas 2000.
The next movie in the line up was to be Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", directed by Ron Howard. This was the movie of 2000 and sold more tickets than any other movie that year and pulled in $260 million at the box office.
It earned Jim another Golden Globe nomination, the adoration of millions of children worldwide and the knowledge that he would forever be part of the festive season entertainment, in the same way that Jimmy Stewart is with 'it's a Wonderful Life'.
Jim moved on to the Frank Darabont directed "The Majestic", about a blacklisted screenwriter in the 50's during the Hollywood communist witch hunts. This was another straight acting role for Jim. A pro American, strength of spirit movie, it had all the ingredients to do well at the box office, it didn't.
The next movie saw him return to comedy. Jim was teamed up again with Tom Shadyac for "Bruce Almighty" and co-starred Jennifer Aniston. The movie was a return to the charming humour of earlier movies and took a whopping $200 million at the box office. Jim was back on form as the biggest money maker in Hollywood.
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