Cathriona White: The 'lovely young woman' from rural Tipperary who moved to the bright lights of Hollywood
Published 30/09/2015 | 08:28
Cathriona White, the 28-year-old Irish makeup artist who was found dead at her LA home last night, had only moved to California in 2009.
Since she began dating Hollywood actor Jim Carrey (53) in 2012 in an on/off romance that would last nearly three years, she had largely avoided the limelight except for the odd sighting of the pair holding hands out and about in New York or LA.
Cathriona began her career in beauty in 2008, when she qualified as a beauty therapist at the Limerick College of Further Education.
In 2012, she first met the Ace Ventura actor and he was a pillar of strength as she mourned the loss of her father Pat, a former digger with Tipperary County Council, to brain cancer.
She was raised by her father in Cappawhite as she and her mother divorced when she was a child and soon after, her mother Brigid moved to the UK and remarried. Brigid is also believed to be in ill health.
Pat remarried Brid and they had a son Tadhg, as well as adopting two step-daughters Larina and Sarah.
They lived with Cathriona, her sister Lisa, a nurse, and brother James in Tipperary, where the White family are well regarded with neighbours and locals.
Lisa and Cathriona were particularly close and Lisa just flew out to LA last month to see her sister and met Carrey for the first time.
Lance Corporal James White (31) is a decorated officer in the English army and was honoured by Queen Elizabeth for multiple acts of bravery in Afghanistan. He received the Military Cross for heroic acts.
Her grandfather James owns White’s Funeral Home in Doon, Co Limerick, and his sons, Cathriona’s uncles Michael and Martin said their father was a “very old man and won’t be able to speak about this,” to the Irish Daily Mail.
Cathriona, who had worked on Firefly and crime thriller Solitude in 2012, attended secondary school at Convent of Mercy in Doon. A former classmate of hers expressed her shock at her even dating Carrey to the Daily Mail, describing her as “lovely looking, but she wasn't pushy - she was very shy really, and quiet.”
She and Carrey began dating in 2012 and made headlines around the world when they were pictured hand in hand on a beach in Malibu.
In 2013, he said their romance had ended, but praised Ms White as a “lovely young woman”.
Earlier this year, they reunited once again and Jim was even pictured wearing a Tipperary GAA jersey in May.
He issued a statement to TMZ last night, saying: "I am shocked and deeply saddened by the passing of my sweet Cathriona. She was a truly kind and delicate Irish flower, too sensitive for this soil, to whom loving and being loved was all that sparkled. My heart goes out to her family and friends and to everyone who loved and cared about her. We have all been hit with a lightning bolt."
Cathriona is expected to be buried at home in Ireland, according to her uncle Liam.