Big-name actors in Hollywood never really seem to go away. Tom Cruise will probably star in Mission: Impossible movies until he’s 90, and Brad Pitt will undoubtedly continue to give us smoldering looks long after he’s swapped his pearly whites for dentures. But when a superstar does vanish from the headlines, however, it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Jim Carrey was once Hollywood’s leading funnyman, landing starring roles in box-office hits year after year. Then, out of the blue, Jim decided to take a stand that shocked the world, and it almost cost him everything…

From a young age, Jim Carrey always knew he wanted to be a comedian. With a knack for impressions and physical comedy, it wasn’t long before Jim was doing stand-up at local comedy clubs in the hope of being discovered.

And discovered he was, as legendary comedian Rodney Dangerfield quickly took a shine to the young joker and signed him as a supporting act. With his star on the rise, Jim decided to take his talents to Hollywood to see if he could make it big.

The Un-Natural Act

It wasn’t long before Jim’s popularity as a comedian took off, and by the early 80s, he was making regular appearances on An Evening at the Improv and The Tonight Show. But everything changed when in 1990, Jim became a regular cast member on the sketch comedy show In Living Color.

In Living Color

Jim and his expressive slapstick style of comedy became a huge hit, and his success on television launched him into starring roles in comedy classics like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb & Dumber, and The Mask. But this was only the beginning for young Jim Carrey.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective / Dumb and Dumber / The Mask

After reprising his role as Ace Ventura in 1995’s Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and starring as the Riddler in Batman Forever, Jim’s price tag reached an astonishing $20 million per film. In fact, Jim was so sought after that he even began to score leading-man roles in dramatic films like The Truman Show.

The Truman Show

Around the turn of the century, Jim began to shy away from comedies in favor of films he considered to be more “highbrow”. With his performance in 2004’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind receiving critical acclaim, it appeared that the comedian’s acting style was beginning to shift — and people were taking notice.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

During an interview that same year, Jim’s acting pursuits were called into question. Although he attributed his transition from goofy comedian to serious actor to the nature of the roles he was given, there was still no denying that Jim’s slapstick days were now behind him…for better or worse.

The latter proved to become a reality when in 2007, Jim starred in the psychological horror film The Number 23, which was both a critical and commercial disaster. While he’d bounce back a year later with the comedy Yes Man, this marked the first moment of decline in the storied actor’s career.

The Number 23

Though in the years to come, we saw him star in films like A Christmas CarolMr. Popper’s Penguins, and Dumb and Dumber To, Jim’s performances were receiving more and more mixed reviews. Then, in 2013, the floodgate holding Jim’s career in place finally burst.

A Christmas Carol / Mr. Popper’s Penguins / Dumb and Dumber To

Several months prior to the release of the film Kick-Ass 2, Jim took to Twitter to denounce his role in the project. Citing the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the actor withdrew his support for what he believed to be an excessively violent film.

Kick-Ass 2

“I did Kick-Ass a month before Sandy Hook,” Jim tweeted, “and now in all good conscience, I cannot support that level of violence. My apologies to others involved with the film. I am not ashamed of it, but recent events have caused a change in my heart.”

Kick-Ass 2

Though some praised Jim for sticking to his morals, an overwhelming majority — including Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar and some of Jim’s co-stars — openly rebuked his comments. But this wouldn’t be the last time Jim’s mouth would get him into trouble.

Liar Liar

In 2015, the comedian once again took to Twitter to share some of his more controversial beliefs. Not only was Jim not a fan of Kick-Ass, but apparently he was anti-vaccination as well.

CNBC

“California Government says ‘yes’ to poisoning more children with mercury and aluminum in mandatory vaccines,” Jim declared, in reference to a recently passed California law. “This corporate fascist must be stopped.”

Syfy

Public outrage was immediate, with many pointing out that mercury is no longer used in vaccines and that refusing to vaccinate children poses a serious risk to public health. Though he backtracked his comments in several follow-up tweets, the labeling of Jim as an anti-science nutcase had already begun.

Yes Man

In fact, Time magazine even published an article titled, “Jim Carrey, Please Shut Up About Vaccines”. As one would expect, this kind of bad publicity only made finding work more difficult for the already struggling actor.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Despite being brought on for an episode of Saturday Night Live, film and television studios seemed to have blacklisted Jim, leaving his 2015 filmography almost completely blank. Things were bad for the former megastar, but what came next was the final nail in his coffin.

NBC

Following the suicide of his ex-girlfriend Cathriona White, a lawsuit was brought against Jim by her family and estranged husband. They alleged that Cathriona took her own life using prescription drugs that Jim provided her with just days before her death.

Not only that, but Cathriona’s mother accused Jim of emotionally abusing her daughter, giving her STDs, and using “high-priced Hollywood lawyers” to intimidate her following their breakup. The case is still playing out in court, with Jim fighting desperately to repair his already shattered public image.

Closer Magazine

In late 2018, Jim made his return to acting in Showtime’s comedy-drama Kidding. While the former Hollywood heavyweight will likely never regain the kind of stardom he achieved early on in his career. 

Nerdist

Let’s hope that new opportunities will allow Jim to redeem himself in the eyes of his many fans and admirers. But Carrey certainly isn’t the only celeb to rack up a few tabloid headlines. In fact, Jim seems totally normal after hearing some of these Tom Cruise facts…

1. Over the years, Tom Cruise allegedly allowed Scientology elders to select wives for him to “audition.” High-ranking Scientologists allegedly trotted out a series of women for Cruise to date, including actress Nazanin Boniadi.

2. Tom Cruise adopted two kids, Isabella and Connor, with fellow actor Nicole Kidman and pushed them towards Scientology. They started practicing, but Kidman didn’t, so Scientology labeled her a non-believer. Cruise eventually (allegedly) pressured them to never see her again.

3. In a 2005 interview with Matt Lauer, Tom Cruise railed against prescription drugs, even those used for treating postpartum depression. According to him, depression could be cured with vitamins and exercise. In the same interview, he also rebuked psychiatry, which is a big position for Scientologists.

Today / YouTube

4. Over his decades in the spotlight, Tom Cruise was never afraid to hold journalists accountable for lies, rumors, or stuff they just couldn’t really prove. Whenever someone sullied his character, he jumped at the opportunity to sue. A lawsuit might have been preferable for the next guy…

CNN

5. Once, when a reporter squirted Tom Cruise with a water gun mid-interview, he lost it. “Why would you do that?” he asked. “Do you like thinking less of people? Is that it?” Cruise then grabbed the reporter’s hand and reprimanded him as he tried to flee.

6. Tom Cruise once melted hearts and made true romantics swoon when he enthusiastically jumped on Oprah Winfrey’s couch during an interview while professing his love for then-wife Katie Holmes. Some rumors suggested the whole thing was staged and not an authentic outburst of emotion.

7. At a wedding many dubbed to be one of the strangest they had ever attended, Tom Cruise serenaded Katie Holmes with the song “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” which was the tune he once famously sang in Top Gun.

8. It hadn’t even been two weeks after Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes publicly announced they were expecting that photos of Holmes and her baby bump appeared in the tabloids. Rumors swirled that Cruise had Holmes wear a fake belly to quell gossip he was infertile.

People

9. Thanks to Scientology’s theories, Cruise proposed that his children be born in complete silence. No screaming nor encouragement from nurses was allowed. And so, Suri Cruise entered the world in a room where you could’ve probably heard a pin drop.

katieholmes212 / Instagram

10. An accomplished actress in her own right, Katie Holmes—who became a household name after her role on Dawson’s Creek—seemed to disappear once she married Tom Cruise. Allegedly, he persuaded her to turn down film roles and drop her manager.

Kevin Ballard / Flickr

11. While she was married to Tom Cruise, cameras often caught Katie Holmes with her friend, Jessica Feshbach. As it turned out, Feshbach was an established member of Scientology who once was Cruise’s assistant. Many suspected she was hired to keep an eye on his wife.

12. After his divorce from Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise allegedly imposed rules on his ex-wife, such as barring her from talking to the press or dating anyone else for five years. Coincidentally, just over five years later, photos of Holmes with actor Jaime Foxx surfaced.

13. According to actress (and former Scientologist) Leah Remini, Tom Cruise once erupted in a fit of rage because he wanted to make cookies but couldn’t find any cookie dough. Of all Cruise’s faults, this one might be a bit more understandable ’cause, you know, cookies.

14. Leah Remini dished additional Tom Cruise rumors in her Scientology tell-all. Apparently, Cruise once invited her to play hide-and-seek with Will Smith (among others) at his 7,000-square-foot home. She declined, but he “tagged” her and told her she was “it” anyway.

15. Tom Cruise (pictured here as his character from Tropic Thunder) worked tirelessly to recruit other Hollywood stars to Scientology. Allegedly, he tried bringing Jennifer Lopez, Alec Baldwin, and Margot Robbie into his world of thetans and dianetics.

Just Jared

16. Another ex-Scientologist, Nick Lister, said that Tom Cruise once spotted his 14-year-old niece kissing a boy. Thinking it was unbecoming of her, Cruise exiled the teenager from future family events.

HBO via E! Entertainment

17. According to ex-Scientologist Amy Scobee (pictured), Tom Cruise employed a gaggle of Scientologist minions to keep his former Los Angeles home up and running. He “had to hire an executive housekeeper, a maid, a cook, who all had to be Scientologists.”

18. Over the years, the leader of Scientology, David Miscavige, has been a target for several sinister allegations, including one about his wife who hadn’t been seen publicly since about 2007. Miscavige’s best bud? None other than Tom Cruise.

Church of Scientology via LA Times

19. On the big screen, Tom Cruise has thwarted plenty of evil villains and dastardly foes, but even movie magic hasn’t captured his real-world destiny. As one of Scientology’s leading members, some have alleged he believes he’ll lead humanity in a fight against aliens.

Impact Magazine via LA Times

20. Tom Cruise once starred in a video where he spoke of Scientology in a way that not even the most loving mother would speak of her child. The strangest part? He did so as the Mission: Impossible music played softly in the background…