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Tom Shadyac

After becoming the youngest-ever joke writer for Bob Hope, Tom Shadyac went on to write, direct and produce some of the most successful comedies of the late 1990s and early 2000s. He had his first big hit when he co-wrote and directed "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" (1994), which helped turn Jim Carrey into a box office star. He followed that with another hit, a remake of "The Nutty Professor" (1996) with Eddie Murphy, before striking gold with Carrey again on the massively successful "Liar, Liar" (1997). Though critics often decried his movies as crass and lowbrow, they scored with audiences who flocked to see the likes of Carrey and Murphy engage in no-holds-barred physical comedy. After directing Robin Williams in the financially successful, but critically maligned "Patch Adams" (1998), Shadyac took a risk directing the moody supernatural thriller, "Dragonfly" (2002), and paid the price when the movie flopped with critics and audiences. He returned to what he did best, directing limber-limbed Jim Carrey in another box office hit, "Bruce Almighty" (2003) and Steve Carell in its mediocre sequel "Evan Almighty" (2007). But Shadyac's life took a sudden turn in 2007 when he suffered a serious concussion that left him with severe side effects that prompted him to simplify his life by donating his excess fortune and moving into a trailer park. Shadyac explored his personal journey and mankind's addiction to materialism in the documentary "I Am" (2011), marking a decidedly drastic turn in the comedy director's career.
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