Robert Downey Jr. is currently one of the most demanded superstars in the Hollywood industry. Every single director or actor wants to work with him. His charisma and acting skills have really influenced every single movie lover. But the journey of his life was not so easy. He went to jail and was even addicted to drugs. But since he took up the mantle to play Iron Man in Marvel Comics' franchise, nothing has gone wrong with him.
He has played many legendary characters like Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chaplin and one of the most famous superheroes, Iron Man. Many Hollywood specialists even thought that he would ruin Tony Stark's character, but when people first saw him, they said that no one could have done this better than RDJ. Fans from all around the globe love him for his sarcastic and funny side, but the legendary actor can also be serious like we saw him in Civil War.
So to know more interesting facts about the star, just continue reading.
Robert Downey Junior is the son of Robert Downey Senior and actress Elsie Downey. Downey Jr. made his debut in his father's film 'Pound' (1970) at the age of five in which he played a sick puppy.
Robert Sr. changed his family name from Elias to Downey in 1950s and so it is Robert Downey Jr. and not Robert Elias Jr.
Robert Sr. was an actor, producer, writer, cinematographer, and director. Robert Jr. grew up taking part in many of his father's films.
Sadly, it was Robert Downey Sr. who exposed his son to drugs when he was six years of age and by eight Downey Jr. became an addict.
Robert lived with his father when his parents divorced and he grew up in numerous places in the States and Europe. He spent his childhood in New York, Connecticut, Paris, London, Vermont and California.
Downey Jr. dropped out of school at age 17 to become an actor. His first few jobs included bussing tables, working in a shoe store and performing at the notorious underground club Area.
Downey Jr. became a member of the Brat Pack, which was a group of young actors in US who performed in coming-of-age films in 1980s. Anthony Michael, his fellow Brat Packer, is the godfather of Robert Downe Junior's eldest son Indio.
Sarah Jessica Parker was one of Robert Downey Jr's first loves. They met on the film set of 'Firstborn' when they were both 18. They lived together for seven years before they split over his alcohol and drug abuse.
"I liked to drink, and I had a drug problem, and that didn't jibe with Sarah Jessica, because it is the furthest thing from what she is," he had told Parade in 2008. "She provided me a home and understanding. She tried to help me. She was so miffed when I didn't get my act together."
Robert Downey Jr. married singer Deborah Falconer after dating her for 42 days. They have a son Indio, who is 23.
Downey played a charming womanizer in 'The Pick-up Artist' (1987). The romantic comedy that co-starred Molly Ringwald was his first leading role.
In 1987, Downey played Julian Wells who was a party-loving cocaine addicted guy in 'Less Than Zero' and it proved to be his breakthrough performance.
"Until that movie, I took drugs after work and on the weekends. Maybe I'd turn up hungover on the set, but no more so than the stuntman. That changed on Less Than Zero. I was playing this junkie-faggot guy, and, for me, the role was like the ghost of Christmas future. The character was an exaggeration of myself. Then things changed, and, in some ways, I became an exaggeration of the character. That lasted far longer than it needed to last", Downey Jr. later explained.
Downey Jr. earned his first Oscar nomination for the 1992 film 'Chaplin' where he essayed the role of Charlie Chaplin. Downey learned to play the violin and tennis from left hand for this role. However, he lost the Oscar to Al Pacino in 'Scent of a Woman'. His second nomination came in 2009 for 'Tropic Thunder' in the Best Support Actor category.
In 1997, Robert spent four months in jail and again for a year in 1999 for drug possession.
Robert won a Golden Globe for the TV series 'Ally McBeal' for his role of Larry Paul, the love interest of Calista Flockhart. Robert was written off the show in 2001 due to his drug arrests in 2000 and 2001.
Everyone loves a comeback story! Robert Jr. credits Mel Gibson for reviving his career as it was Gibson who gave him a small role in 'The Singing Detective' in 2003.
Robert Downey Junior released a music album in 2004 titled 'The Futurist'. He has also lent his voice to soundtracks in his films 'Chaplin', 'The Singing Detective' and 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang'. 'Tis the Season' has been Robert's most commercially successful number.
Downey Jr. earned seven cents per hour while cleaning kitchen utensils in LA prison in 1990's.
Robert Downey Jr. topped Forbes's list of one of Hollywood's highest-paid actors between June 2012 and June 2013 with estimated earnings of 75 million dollars.
'The Avengers' and 'Iron Man 3' starring Robert Downey Jr. have earned over 1 billion dollars each.
The only actor to win a Golden Globe for portraying the character of detective Sherlock Holmes, Robert Downey Jr. had prepared no remarks for his acceptance speech because "Susan Downey (his wife and Sherlock Holmes producer) told me that Matt Damon (nominated for his role in 'The Informant'!) was going to win so don't bother preparing a speech", said Downey in his speech.
Robert Downey met wife Susan on the sets of 'Gothika' and struck up a romance during production. Susan had twice turned down Downey Jr.'s advances but finally gave in.
Robert Downey Jr. married Susan Levin in August 2005 after a two-year engagement. They married at the Hampton's that is one of Robert's favourite vacation spot and their wedding ceremony was attended by 150 guests. Robert refers to Susan Downey as "the Mrs." in his interviews and also has her named tattooed on his arm. They have two children, son Exton and daughter Avri. When Susan was pregnant with their second child it was Downey who announced via Facebook and Twitter that he and his wife were expecting a daughter.
"I would have Domino's pizza with pasta carbonara inside every slice. And at night I would have Neapolitan ice cream until I felt absolutely toxic," Robert Downey Junior had said in an interview to Vanity Fair.
Although many Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast members have made films during and after their tenure at SNL, Downey is the only one with a Best Actor nomination. It was for his brilliantly portrayed role of Charlie Chaplin in the film 'Chaplin' in 1993. SNL was a late-night television show of US.
In October 2011, Downey was honoured at the American Cinematheque Awards where his friends Mel Gibson, Jennifer Aniston, Michael Douglas and Jodie Foster paid tribute to the actor.
Robert quit school to pursue his acting dreams and never graduated from high school but during his stints in the jail, he obtained General Education Development (GED) test certificate.
Robert and Susan set up their production company. Company's first film was 'The Judge' in 2014. It starred Robert Duvall and he received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for the same.
In 2009, Downey was included in People magazine's annual list of Sexiest Men Alive. Also, for his work as Tony Stark aka 'Iron Man', Robert Downey Jr. has thrice been awarded People's Choice Award.
He fought his demons and made a successful life for himself that in itself is an inspiration for people suffering from substance or alcohol abuse.
On June 6, 2005, together with Lyle Lovett, and Tom Jones, Robert Downey Jr. participated at a concert held by Jazz at Lincoln Center, the not-for-profit arts organization.
Robert supports a charity close to his heart, the children's hospice Julia's House and doesn't miss any chance to spend a day there. In March 2015, Robert presented his bionic Iron Man arm to his seven-year-old fan Alex who was born with a partially developed right arm.
Happy birthday, Iron Man!