Robert Downey Jr.

Robert John Downey Jr. (born April 4, 1965)[1] is an American actor, producer, and singer. His career has been characterized by critical and popular success in his youth, followed by a period of substance abuse and legal troubles, before a resurgence of commercial success in middle age. In 2008, Downey was named by Time magazine among the 100 most influential people in the world,[2][3] and from 2013 to 2015, he was listed by Forbes as Hollywood's highest-paid actor.[2][4] His films have grossed over $14.4 billion worldwide,[5] making him the second highest-grossing box-office star of all time.[6]

Robert Downey Jr.
Downey at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con
Robert John Downey Jr.

(1965-04-04) April 4, 1965
ResidenceMalibu, California, U.S.
Venice, California, U.S.
EducationSanta Monica High School
  • Actor
  • producer
  • singer
Years active1970–present
Partner(s)Sarah Jessica Parker

At the age of five, he made his acting debut in Robert Downey Sr.'s film Pound in 1970. His subsequently worked with the Brat Pack in the teen films Weird Science (1985) and Less Than Zero (1987). In 1992, Downey portrayed the title character in the biopic Chaplin, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor and won a BAFTA Award. Following a stint at the Corcoran Substance Abuse Treatment Facility on drug charges, he joined the TV series Ally McBeal, for which he won a Golden Globe Award; however in the wake of two drug charges, one in late 2000 and one in early 2001, he was fired and his character terminated. He stayed in a court-ordered drug treatment program shortly after and has maintained his sobriety since 2003.

Initially, bond completion companies would not insure Downey, until Mel Gibson paid the insurance bond for the 2003 film The Singing Detective.[7] He subsequently went on to star in the black comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), the thriller Zodiac (2007), and the action comedy Tropic Thunder (2008); for the latter he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Downey gained wider recognition for starring as Tony Stark / Iron Man in ten films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from Iron Man (2008) to Avengers: Endgame (2019). He has also played the title character in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes (2009), which earned him his second Golden Globe, and its sequel (2011).

Early life and family

Downey was born in Manhattan, New York City, the younger of two children. His father, Robert Downey Sr., is an actor and filmmaker, while his mother, Elsie Ann (née Ford), was an actress who appeared in Downey Sr.'s films.[8] Downey's father is of half Lithuanian Jewish, one-quarter Hungarian Jewish, and one-quarter Irish descent,[9][10][11][12] while Downey's mother had Scottish, German, and Swiss ancestry.[13][14][15] Robert's original family name was Elias which was changed by his father to enlist in the Army.[16] Downey and his older sister Allyson grew up in Greenwich Village.[17]

As a child, Downey was "surrounded by drugs." His father, a drug addict, allowed Downey to use marijuana at age six, an incident which his father later said he regretted.[17] Downey later stated that drug use became an emotional bond between him and his father: "When my dad and I would do drugs together, it was like him trying to express his love for me in the only way he knew how." Eventually, Downey began spending every night abusing alcohol and "making a thousand phone calls in pursuit of drugs."[18][19]

During his childhood, Downey had minor roles in his father's films. He made his acting debut at the age of five, playing a sick puppy in the absurdist comedy Pound (1970), and then at seven appeared in the surrealist Western Greaser's Palace (1972).[14] At the age of 10, he was living in England and studied classical ballet as part of a larger curriculum.[20][21] He attended the Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in upstate New York as a teenager. When his parents divorced in 1978, Downey moved to California with his father, but in 1982, he dropped out of Santa Monica High School, and moved back to New York to pursue an acting career full-time.[22]

Downey and Kiefer Sutherland, who shared the screen in the 1988 drama 1969, were roommates for three years when he first moved to Hollywood to pursue his career in acting.[23]


1983–1995: Beginnings and critical acclaim

Downey began building upon theater roles, including in the short-lived off-Broadway musical American Passion at the Joyce Theater in 1983, produced by Norman Lear. In 1985, he was part of the new, younger cast hired for Saturday Night Live, but following a year of poor ratings and criticism of the new cast's comedic talents, he and most of the new crew were dropped and replaced.[22] Rolling Stone magazine named Downey the worst SNL cast member in its entire run, stating that the "Downey Fail sums up everything that makes SNL great."[24] That same year, Downey had a dramatic acting breakthrough when he played James Spader's character's sidekick in Tuff Turf and then a bully in John Hughes's Weird Science. He was considered for the role of Duckie in John Hughes's film Pretty in Pink (1986),[25] but his first lead role was with Molly Ringwald in The Pick-up Artist (1987). Because of these and other coming-of-age films Downey did during the 1980s, he is sometimes named as a member of the Brat Pack.[22][26]

In 1987, Downey played Julian Wells, a drug-addicted rich boy whose life rapidly spirals out of his control, in the film version of the Bret Easton Ellis novel Less Than Zero. His performance, described by Janet Maslin in The New York Times as "desperately moving",[27] was widely praised, though Downey has said that for him "the role was like the ghost of Christmas Future" since his drug habit resulted in his becoming an "exaggeration of the character" in real life.[28] Zero drove Downey into films with bigger budgets and names, such as Chances Are (1989) with Cybill Shepherd and Ryan O'Neal, Air America (1990) with Mel Gibson, and Soapdish (1991) with Sally Field, Kevin Kline, and Whoopi Goldberg.[29][30][31]

In 1992, he starred as Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin, a role for which he prepared extensively, learning how to play the violin as well as tennis left-handed. He had a personal coach in order to help him imitate Chaplin's posture, and a way of carrying himself.[32] The role garnered Downey an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor at the Academy Awards 65th ceremony, losing to Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman.[33]

In 1993, he appeared in the films Heart and Souls with Alfre Woodard and Kyra Sedgwick and Short Cuts with Matthew Modine and Julianne Moore, along with a documentary that he wrote about the 1992 presidential campaigns titled The Last Party (1993).[34][35][36] He starred in the 1994 films, Only You with Marisa Tomei, and Natural Born Killers with Woody Harrelson.[37][38] He then subsequently appeared in Restoration (1995), Richard III (1995), Two Girls and a Guy (1997),[39] as Special Agent John Royce in U.S. Marshals (1998), and in Black and White (1999).[40][41][42][43]

1996–2001: Career troubles

From 1996 through 2001, Downey was arrested numerous times on charges related to drugs including cocaine, heroin, and marijuana[44] and went through drug treatment programs unsuccessfully, explaining in 1999 to a judge: "It's like I have a shotgun in my mouth, and I've got my finger on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gun metal." He explained his relapses by claiming to have been addicted to drugs since the age of eight, due to the fact that his father, also an addict previously, had been giving them to him.[45]

In April 1996, Downey was arrested for possession of heroin, cocaine, and an unloaded .357 Magnum handgun while he was speeding down Sunset Boulevard. A month later, while on parole, he trespassed into a neighbor's home while under the influence of a controlled substance, and fell asleep in one of the beds.[46][47] He received three years of probation and was ordered to undergo compulsory drug testing. In 1997, he missed one of the court-ordered drug tests, and had to spend six months in the Los Angeles County jail.[48]

After Downey missed another required drug test in 1999, he was arrested once more. Despite Downey's lawyer, John Stewart Holden, assembling the same team of lawyers that successfully defended O.J. Simpson during his criminal trial for murder,[45] Downey was sentenced to a three-year prison term at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran, California. At the time of the 1999 arrest, all of Downey's film projects had wrapped and were close to release. He had also been hired to provide the voice of the devil on the NBC animated television series God, the Devil and Bob, but was fired when he failed to show up for rehearsals.[49][50]

After spending nearly a year in the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Downey, on condition of posting a $5,000 bail, was unexpectedly freed when a judge ruled that his collective time in incarceration facilities (spawned from the initial 1996 arrests) had qualified him for early release.[17] A week after his 2000 release, Downey joined the cast of the hit television series Ally McBeal, playing the new love interest of Calista Flockhart's title character.[51] His performance was praised and the following year he was nominated for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category and won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a mini-series or television film.[52][53] He also appeared as a writer and singer on Vonda Shepard's Ally McBeal: For Once in My Life album, and he sang with Sting a duet of "Every Breath You Take" in an episode of the series. Despite the apparent success, Downey claimed that his performance on the series was overrated and said, "It was my lowest point in terms of addictions. At that stage, I didn't give a fuck whether I ever acted again."[28] In January 2001, Downey was scheduled to play the role of Hamlet in a Los Angeles stage production directed by Mel Gibson.[54]

Before the end of his first season on Ally McBeal, over the Thanksgiving 2000 holiday, Downey was arrested when his room at Merv Griffin's Hotel and Givenchy Spa in Palm Springs, California was searched by the police, who were responding to an anonymous 911 call. Downey was under the influence of a controlled substance and in possession of cocaine and Valium.[55][56] Despite the fact that, if convicted, he would have faced a prison sentence of up to four years and eight months, he signed on to appear in at least eight more Ally McBeal episodes.[57]

In April 2001, while he was on parole, a Los Angeles police officer found him wandering barefooted in Culver City. He was arrested for suspicion of being under the influence of drugs, but was released a few hours later,[58] even though tests showed he had cocaine in his system.[59] After this last arrest, producer David E. Kelley and other Ally McBeal executives ordered last-minute rewrites and reshoots and fired Downey from the show, despite the fact that Downey's character had resuscitated Ally McBeal's ratings.[60] The Culver City arrest also cost him a role in the high-profile film America's Sweethearts,[59] and the subsequent incarceration prompted Mel Gibson to shut down his planned stage production of Hamlet as well. In July 2001, Downey pleaded no contest to the Palm Springs charges, avoiding jail time. Instead, he was sent into drug rehabilitation and received three years of probation, benefiting from California Proposition 36, which had been passed the year before with the aim of helping nonviolent drug offenders overcome their addictions instead of sending them to jail.[17][61]

The book Conversations with Woody Allen reports that director Woody Allen wanted to cast Downey and Winona Ryder in his film Melinda and Melinda in 2005, but was unable to do so, because he could not get insurance on them, stating, "We couldn't get bonded. The completion bonding companies would not bond the picture unless we could insure them. We were heartbroken because I had worked with Winona before [on Celebrity] and thought she was perfect for this and wanted to work with her again. And I had always wanted to work with Bob Downey and always thought he was a huge talent."[62]

In a December 18, 2000 article for People magazine entitled "Bad to Worse", Downey's stepmother Rosemary told author Alex Tresnlowski, that Downey had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder "a few years ago" and added that his bipolar disorder was "the reason he has a hard time staying sober. What hasn't been tried is medication and intensive psychotherapy".[63] In the same article, Dr. Manijeh Nikakhtar, a Los Angeles psychiatrist and co-author of Addiction or Self-Medication: The Truth, claimed she received a letter from Downey in 1999, during his time at Corcoran II, asking for advice on his condition. She discovered that "no one had done a complete [psychiatric] evaluation [on him] ... I asked him flat out if he thought he was bipolar, and he said, 'Oh yeah. There are times I spend a lot of money and I'm hyperactive, and there are other times I'm down.'"[63] In an article for the March 2007 issue of Esquire, Downey stated that he wanted to address "this whole thing about the bipolar" after receiving a phone call from "the Bipolar Association" asking him about being bipolar. When Downey denied he had ever said he was bipolar, the caller quoted the People article, to which Downey replied, "'No! Dr. Malibusian said [I said I was bipolar] ... ', and they go, 'Well, it's been written, so we're going to quote it.'"[64] Downey flatly denied being "depressed or manic" and that previous attempts to diagnose him with any kind of psychiatric or mood disorder have always been skewed because "the guy I was seeing didn't know I was smokin' crack in his bathroom. You can't make a diagnosis until somebody's sober."[64]

2001–2007: Career comeback

After five years of substance abuse, arrests, rehab, and relapse, Downey was ready to work toward a full recovery from drugs and return to his career. In discussing his failed attempts to control his addictive behavior in the past, Downey told Oprah Winfrey in November 2004 that "when someone says, 'I really wonder if maybe I should go to rehab?' Well, uh, you're a wreck, you just lost your job, and your wife left you. Uh, you might want to give it a shot."[65] He added that after his last arrest in April 2001, when he knew he would likely be facing another stint in prison or another form of incarceration such as court-ordered rehab, "I said, 'You know what? I don't think I can continue doing this.' And I reached out for help, and I ran with it. You can reach out for help in kind of a half-assed way and you'll get it and you won't take advantage of it. It's not that difficult to overcome these seemingly ghastly problems ... what's hard is to decide to do it."[65]

Downey got his first post-rehabilitation acting job in August 2001, lip-syncing in the video for Elton John's single "I Want Love".[66] Video director Sam Taylor-Wood shot 16 takes of the video and used the last one because, according to John, Downey looked completely relaxed and "The way he underplays it is fantastic".[67]

Downey was able to return to the big screen after Mel Gibson, who had been a close friend to Downey since both had co-starred in Air America, paid Downey's insurance bond for the 2003 film The Singing Detective (directed by his Back To School co-star Keith Gordon).[7] Gibson's gamble paved the way for Downey's comeback and Downey returned to mainstream films in the mid-2000s with Gothika, for which producer Joel Silver withheld 40% of his salary until after production wrapped as insurance against his addictive behavior. Similar clauses have become standard in his contracts since.[68] Silver, who was getting closer to Downey as he dated his assistant Susan Levin, also got the actor the leading role in the comedy thriller Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, the directorial debut of screenwriter Shane Black.[69]

After Gothika, Downey was cast in a number of leading and supporting roles, including well-received work in a number of semi-independent films: A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Good Night, and Good Luck, Richard Linklater's dystopian, rotoscoped A Scanner Darkly (in which Downey plays the role of a drug addict), and Steven Shainberg's fictional biographical film of Diane Arbus, Fur, where Downey's character represented the two biggest influences on Arbus's professional life, Lisette Model and Marvin Israel.[70] Downey also received great notice for his roles in more mainstream fare such as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Disney's poorly received The Shaggy Dog.[71]

On November 23, 2004, Downey released his debut musical album, The Futurist, on Sony Classical, for which he designed the cover art and designed the track listing label on the CD with his son Indio.[72] The album received mixed reviews,[73][74] but Downey stated in 2006 that he probably will not do another album, as he felt that the energy he put into doing the album was not compensated.[75]

In 2006, Downey returned to television when he did voice acting on Family Guy in the episode "The Fat Guy Strangler". Downey had previously telephoned the show's production staff and asked if he could produce or assist in an episode creation, as his son Indio is a fan of the show. The producers of the show accepted the offer and created the character of Patrick Pewterschmidt, Lois Griffin's long lost, mentally disturbed brother, for Downey.[76]

Downey signed on with publishers HarperCollins to write a memoir, which in 2006, was already being billed as a "candid look at the highs and lows of his life and career". In 2008, however, Downey returned his advance to the publishers, and canceled the book without further comment.[77]

In 2007, Downey appeared in David Fincher's mystery thriller Zodiac, which was based on a true story. He played the role of San Francisco Chronicle journalist Paul Avery, who was reporting the Zodiac Killer case.[78]

2008–present: Iron Man, blockbuster films and further success

With all of the critical success Downey had experienced throughout his career, he had not appeared in a "blockbuster" film. That changed in 2008 when Downey starred in two critically and commercially successful films, Iron Man and Tropic Thunder. In the article Ben Stiller wrote for Downey's entry in the 2008 edition of The Time 100, he offered an observation on Downey's commercially successful summer at the box office:

Yes, Downey is Iron Man, but he really is Actor Man ... In the realm where box office is irrelevant and talent is king, the realm that actually means something, he has always ruled, and finally this summer he gets to have his cake and let us eat him up all the way to the multiplex, where his mastery is in full effect.

Ben Stiller, The 2008 Time 100, entry No. 60, "Robert Downey Jr."[79]

In 2007, Downey was cast as the title character in the film Iron Man,[80] with director Jon Favreau explaining the choice by stating: "Downey wasn't the most obvious choice, but he understood what makes the character tick. He found a lot of his own life experience in 'Tony Stark'."[81] Favreau insisted on having Downey as he repeatedly claimed that Downey would be to Iron Man what Johnny Depp is to the Pirates of the Caribbean series: a lead actor who could both elevate the quality of the film and increase the public's interest in it.[46][82][83][84] For the role Downey had to gain more than 20 pounds (9 kilograms) of muscle in five months to look like he "had the power to forge iron".[85]

Iron Man was globally released between April 30 and May 3, 2008, grossing over $585 million worldwide[86] and receiving rave reviews which cited Downey's performance as a highlight of the film.[87][88][89] By October 2008, Downey had agreed to appear as Iron Man in two Iron Man sequels, as part of the Iron Man franchise, as well as The Avengers, featuring the superhero team that Stark joins, based on Marvel's comic book series The Avengers.[90] He first reprised the role in a small appearance as Iron Man's alter ego Tony Stark in the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk, as a part of Marvel Studios' depicting the same Marvel Universe on film by providing continuity among the movies.[91]

After Iron Man, Downey appeared alongside Ben Stiller and Jack Black in the Stiller-directed Tropic Thunder. The three actors play a Hollywood archetype—with Downey playing self-absorbed multi-Oscar-winning Australian method actor Kirk Lazarus—as they star in an extremely expensive Vietnam-era film called Tropic Thunder. Lazarus undergoes a "controversial skin pigmentation procedure" in order to take on the role of African-American platoon sergeant Lincoln Osiris, which required Downey to wear dark makeup and a wig. Both Stiller and Downey feared Downey's portrayal of the character could become controversial:

Stiller says that he and Downey always stayed focused on the fact that they were skewering insufferable actors, not African Americans. "I was trying to push it as far as you can within reality", Stiller explains. "I had no idea how people would respond to it". Stiller screened a rough cut of the film [in March 2008] and it scored high with African Americans. He was relieved at the reaction. "It seems people really embrace it", he said.[92]

When asked by Harry Smith on CBS's The Early Show who his model was for Lazarus, Downey laughed before responding, "Sadly, my sorry-ass self".[93]

Released in the United States on August 13, 2008, Tropic Thunder received good reviews with 83% of reviews positive and an average normalized score of 71, according to the review aggregator websites Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, respectively.[94][95] It earned US$26 million in its North American opening weekend and retained the number one position for its first three weekends of release. The film grossed $180 million in theaters before its release on home video on November 18, 2008. Downey was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Lazarus.[96]

Opening in late April 2009 was a film Downey finished in mid-2008, The Soloist. The film was delayed from a November 2008 release by Paramount Pictures due to the studio's tight end-of-year release schedule.[97] Critics who had seen the film in 2008 were mentioning it as a possible Academy Award candidate.[98] Downey picked up an Academy Award nomination for the 2008 release year for his role in Tropic Thunder.[99]

The first role Downey accepted after Iron Man was the title character in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes. Warner Bros. released it on December 25, 2009.[100] The film set several box office records in the United States for a Christmas Day release, beating the previous record-holder, 2008's Marley & Me, by nearly $10M, and finished second to Avatar in a record-setting Christmas weekend box office. Sherlock Holmes ended up being the 8th highest-grossing film of 2009.[101][102] When Downey won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for his role as Sherlock Holmes, he noted in his acceptance speech that he had prepared no remarks 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".[103]

Downey returned as Tony Stark in the first of two planned sequels to Iron Man, Iron Man 2, which released in May 2010. Iron Man 2 grossed over $623M worldwide, becoming the 7th highest-grossing film of 2010.[104]

Downey's other commercial film release of 2010 was the comedy road film, Due Date. The movie, co-starring Zach Galifianakis, was released in November 2010[105] and grossed over $211M worldwide, making it the 36th highest-grossing movie of 2010.[106] Downey's sole 2011 film credit was the sequel to the 2009 version of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which opened worldwide on December 16, 2011.[107]

In 2012, Downey reprised the role of Tony Stark in The Avengers. The film received positive reviews[108] and was highly successful at the box office, becoming the third highest-grossing film of all time both in the United States and worldwide.[109] His film, the David Dobkin-directed dramedy The Judge,[110] a project co-produced by his production company Team Downey, was the opening film at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014.[111] Downey played Tony Stark again in Iron Man 3 (2013),[112] Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017),[113] Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).[114] According to Deadline, he will also be seen in Black Widow (2020),[115] which takes place after Civil War.

Upcoming projects

Downey is scheduled to star in Dolittle. Downey will reprise his role as Holmes in a third film, scheduled for release on December 25, 2020.[116]

Other ventures


Downey has sung on several soundtracks for his films, including for Chaplin, Too Much Sun, Two Girls and a Guy, Friends and Lovers, The Singing Detective, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. In 2001, he appeared in the music video for Elton John's song, "I Want Love." He released a CD in 2004 called The Futurist, and while promoting his film Tropic Thunder, he and his co-stars Ben Stiller and Jack Black were back-up singers "The Pips" to Gladys Knight singing "Midnight Train to Georgia".[117]

Downey's most commercially successful recording venture to date (combining sales and radio airplay) has been his remake of the 1973 Joni Mitchell Christmas song "River", which was included on the Ally McBeal tie-in album Ally McBeal: A Very Ally Christmas, released in 2000; Downey's character Larry Paul performs the song in the Ally McBeal episode "Tis the Season".[118]

Production company

On June 14, 2010, Downey and his wife Susan opened their own production company called Team Downey. Their first project was The Judge.[119]

Personal life

Relationships and family

Downey started dating actress Sarah Jessica Parker after meeting her on the set of Firstborn. The couple later separated due to his drug addiction.[120]

He married actress and singer Deborah Falconer on May 29, 1992, after a 42-day courtship.[121] Their son, Indio Falconer Downey, was born in September 1993.[122] The strain on their marriage from Downey's repeated trips to rehab and jail finally reached a breaking point; in 2001, in the midst of Downey's last arrest and sentencing to an extended stay in rehab, Falconer left Downey and took their son with her.[121] Downey and Falconer finalized their divorce on April 26, 2004.

In 2003, Downey met producer Susan Levin, an Executive Vice President of Production at Joel Silver's film company, Silver Pictures on the set of Gothika.[7] Though Susan twice turned down his amorous advances, she and Downey did quietly strike up a romance during production.[123] Despite Susan's worries that the romance would not last after the completion of shooting because "he's an actor; I have a real job",[123] the couple's relationship continued after production wrapped on Gothika, and Downey proposed to Susan on the night before her thirtieth birthday.[123] In August 2005, the couple were married, in a Jewish ceremony, at Amagansett, New York.[124][125] A tattoo on one of his biceps reads "Suzie Q" in tribute to her.[126] Their first child, a son, was born in February 2012,[127] and their second, a daughter, was born in November 2014.[128][129][130]

Downey has been a close friend of Mel Gibson since they starred in Air America. Downey defended Gibson during the controversy surrounding The Passion of the Christ, and said "nobody's perfect" in reference to Gibson's DUI.[131] Gibson said of Downey: "He was one of the first people to call and offer the hand of friendship. He just said, 'Hey, welcome to the club. Let's go see what we can do to work on ourselves.'"[132] In October 2011, Downey was being honored at the 25th American Cinematheque Awards; Downey chose Gibson to present him with his award for his life's work, and used his air time to say a few kind words about Gibson and explain why he chose him to present the award.[133]


Downey maintains that he has been drug-free since July 2003,[134] and has credited his wife with helping him overcome his drug and alcohol habits, along with his family, therapy, meditation, twelve-step recovery programs, yoga, and the practice of Wing Chun kung fu,[28] the martial art he learned from Eric Oram, who is also a fight consultant in several of Downey's movies.[135][136] Oram was Downey's personal fight coordinator in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.[137] In December 2015, Downey received a full and unconditional pardon from Governor of California Jerry Brown for his prior drug convictions.[138][139] Oram wrote a letter in support of Downey's pardon to Governor Brown.[140]

Religious beliefs

Downey has described his religious beliefs as "Jewish Buddhist",[141] and he is reported to have consulted astrologers.[142] In the past, Downey has been interested in Christianity and the Hare Krishna movement.[141]

Political views

In a 2008 interview, Downey stated that his time in prison changed his political point of view somewhat, saying, "I have a really interesting political point of view, and it's not always something I say too loud at dinner tables here, but you can't go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal. You can't. I wouldn't wish that experience on anyone else, but it was very, very, very educational for me and has informed my proclivities and politics ever since."[143] However, when asked about the quote in a 2015 interview to promote Avengers: Age of Ultron, he denied that his previous statement reflected any longstanding beliefs on his part, and stated, "I wouldn't say that I'm a Republican or a liberal or a Democrat."[144]

Downey serves on the board of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition.[145]

In 2016, Downey appeared in an anti-Trump commercial with other celebrities encouraging people to register to vote in the 2016 election.[146]

Filmography and awards


Studio album

Soundtrack appearances

Year Song Soundtrack Notes
1992 "Smile" Chaplin OST On The Futurist
1993 "The Star-Spangled Banner" Heart and Souls OST With B.B. King
2000 "White Christmas" Ally McBeal: A Very Ally Christmas With Vonda Shepard
2000 "River" Ally McBeal: A Very Ally Christmas
2001 "Every Breath You Take" Ally McBeal: For Once in My Life featuring Vonda Shepard With Sting
2001 "Chances Are" Ally McBeal: For Once in My Life featuring Vonda Shepard With Vonda Shepard
2001 "Snakes" Ally McBeal: For Once in My Life featuring Vonda Shepard
2003 "In My Dreams" The Singing Detective OST
2005 "Broken" Kiss Kiss Bang Bang OST On The Futurist


  1. "Robert Downey Jr. Biography". The Biography Channel. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  2. "Robert Downey Jr. Tops Forbes' List of Hollywood's Highest-Paid Actors". Forbes. July 16, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  3. Robehmed, Natalie. "The World's Highest-Paid Actors 2015: Robert Downey Jr. Leads With $80 Million Haul". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  4. Robehmed, Natalie. "The World's Highest-Paid Actors 2015: Robert Downey Jr. Leads With $80 Million Haul". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  5. "Robert Downey, Jr. Movie Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  6. "People Index". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  7. Friedman, Roger (October 14, 2003). "Mel Gibson's New 'Passion' Is Robert Downey Jr". Fox News Channel. Archived from the original on April 24, 2008. Retrieved May 11, 2008.
  8. Finn, Natalie (September 26, 2014). "Robert Downey Jr.'s Mother Dies: Read His Moving, Candid Tribute to Elsie Ann Downey". E!. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  9. Hedegaard, Erik (August 21, 2008). "To Hell and Back With Robert Downey Jr". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  10. Friedman, Roger (October 14, 2003). "Mel Gibson's New 'Passion' Is Robert Downey Jr". Fox News. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  11. West, Kevin (March 1, 2007). "Robert Downey, Jr? Call him Mr. Clean". W. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  12. Bloom, Nate (April 12, 2012). "Celebrity Jews: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Barbara Walters, Larry David, Ben Stiller & more". J. The Jewish News of Northern California. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  13. Gates, Henry Louis. "Robert Downey Jr.". Finding Your Roots: The Official Companion to the PBS Series (1st ed.). UNC Press Books. ISBN 146961801X. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  14. Diamond, Jamie (December 20, 1992). "FILM; Robert Downey Jr. Is Chaplin (on Screen) and a Child (Off)". The New York Times.
  15. Stated on Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr., PBS, April 22, 2012
  17. "Actor's toughest role". CNN. 2004. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
  18. Gliatto, Tom (August 19, 1996). "Hitting Bottom". People. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
  19. "Why Robert Downey Jr. Fears Passing Drug Addiction to His Son". ABC News. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  20. "ROBERT DOWNEY JR – DOWNEY JR WAS A BALLET STUDENT". Contact Music. May 22, 2005. Retrieved January 1, 2010.
  21. "Robert Downey, Jr". Off Camera with Sam Jones. February 6, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  22. "CNN People in the News – Profile of Robert Downey Jr". CNN. August 17, 2002. Retrieved May 2, 2008.
  23. "Room mate". Archived from the original on May 17, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  24. Sheffield, Rob (February 11, 2015). "145. Robert Downey Jr. | 'Saturday Night Live': All 145 Cast Members Ranked". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  25. Pretty in Pink (Special feature "Zoids and Richies"). John Hughes. Paramount Home Entertainment. 2002 [1986]. B00006JY0R.CS1 maint: others (link)
  26. Germain, David (October 23, 2005). "Downey riding high on the comeback trail". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 2, 2008.
  27. Maslin, Janet (November 6, 1987). "Film: 'Less Than Zero,' Young Lives". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2008.
  28. Wilde, Jon (November 8, 2003). "More than skin deep". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved May 2, 2008.
  29. Ebert, Roger (March 10, 1989). "Chances Are Movie Review & Film Summary". Roger Ebert Online. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  30. Child, Ben (October 17, 2011). "Robert Downey Jr: Hollywood should forgive Mel Gibson". The Guardian. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  31. Ebert, Roger (May 31, 1991). "Soapdish Movie Review & Film Summary". Roger Ebert Online. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  32. Hornaday, Anne (April 11, 1993). "FILM; Once Again The Clowning Gets Physical". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2008.
  33. Travers, Peter (March 13, 2008). "The Strange Case of Iron Man Robert Downey Jr". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 1, 2008.
  34. Maslin, Janet (August 13, 1993). "Heart and Souls (1993) Reviews/Film; A Yuppie Haunted (Really) By Other People's Problems". The New York Times. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  35. Travers, Peter (October 3, 1993). "Short Cuts | Movie Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  36. Heath, Chris (April 2013). "Robert Downey Jr: 21 Years Ago". GQ. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  37. Ebert, Roger (October 7, 1994). "Only You Movie Review & Film Summary". Roger Ebert Online. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  38. Hayes, Britt. "See the Cast of 'Natural Born Killers' Then and Now". Screen Crush. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  39. Ebert, Roger (April 24, 1998). "TWO GIRLS AND A GUY". Chicago Sun-Times.
  40. Maslin, Janet (December 29, 1995). "Restoration (1994) FILM REVIEW;The King's Vet, Beard and Cuckolder". The New York Times. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  41. "Ian McKellen's Richard III | Notes". Archived from the original on April 30, 2009. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  42. "Robert Downey Jr. Turned Down Heather Graham". Entertainment Wise. April 15, 2008. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  43. Ebert, Roger (April 5, 2000). "Black and White Movie Review & Film Summary". Roger Ebert Online. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  44. Reaves, Jessica (February 7, 2001). "Will Robert Downey Jr.'s Case Spark a Change in Drug Sentencing?". Time. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
  45. "Addicted Downey Jnr jailed". BBC News. August 6, 1999. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
  46. Carr, David (April 20, 2008). "Been Up, Been Down. Now? Super". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
  47. Winters Keegan, Rebecca (April 16, 2008). "Robert Downey Jr.: Back from the Brink". Time. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
  48. Welkos, Robert W. (December 9, 1997). "Actor Robert Downey Jr. Given 6-Month Jail Term". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  49. Ault, Susanne (August 6, 1999). "Downey gets 3-year prison term for parole violations". Variety. Retrieved August 8, 2008.
  50. "Downey Jr back in jail". BBC News. July 23, 1999. Retrieved August 8, 2008.
  51. "Downey Jr lands McBeal role". BBC News. August 11, 2000. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
  52. "Bada Bing! Sopranos Leads Emmy Pack". Fox News Channel. July 12, 2001. Archived from the original on June 4, 2010. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
  53. "Downey Jr's Golden acting career". BBC News. January 22, 2001. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
  54. "Gibson Downey Jr becomes Hamlet". BBC News. September 21, 2000.
  55. Baron, James (July 17, 2001). "Boldface Names". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
  56. Angulo, Sandra P. (April 24, 2001). "Robert Downey Jr. arrested in L.A." Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  57. "Downey Jr signs McBeal deal". BBC News. February 15, 2001. Retrieved May 11, 2008.
  58. "Robert Downey Jr. Fired From Ally McBeal After Another Arrest". Fox News Channel. Associated Press. April 25, 2001. Archived from the original on October 3, 2009. Retrieved May 11, 2008.
  59. "Robert Downey Jr.'s Drug 'Deal'". Wired. Reuters. May 31, 2001. Retrieved May 11, 2008.
  60. Carter, Bill (April 18, 2002). "This Season to Be Last for 'Ally McBeal'". The New York Times. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
  61. "Robert Downey Jr. to Enter Plea Agreement on Drug Charges". CNN. July 16, 2001. Retrieved May 11, 2008.
  62. Lax, Eric (August 18, 2009) [First published 2007]. "Chapter 1: The Idea". Conversations With Woody Allen: His Films, the Movies, and Moviemaking. Updated and expanded (E-book) (1st ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 9781400031498. LCCN 2009012210. OCLC 232980446. OL 23192563M.
  63. Tresnlowski, Alex (December 18, 2000). "Bad to Worse". People. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  64. Raab, Scott (March 2007). "May God Bless and Keep Robert Downey Jr". Esquire. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
  65. The Oprah Winfrey Show on YouTube, second segment, November 22, 2004. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
  66. Schumacher-Rasmussen, Eric (August 3, 2001). "Elton John Casts Robert Downey Jr. In His New Video". MTV News. Retrieved May 3, 2008.
  67. Rankin, Rebecca. "Elton John: California Love (Interview)". MTV News. Archived from the original on July 26, 2008. Retrieved May 3, 2008.
  68. "Robert Downey Jr.". Shootout. July 14, 2006. AMC.
  69. Svetkey, Benjamin. "'Lethal Weapon' Wunderkind (and Former Party Boy) Shane Black Is Back ... and Still Looking for Action". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  70. Frey, Jennifer (November 12, 2006). "A 'Fur'-Fetched Portrait of Arbus? Precisely! Says the Filmmaker". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
  71. D'Angelo, Mike (November 20, 2007). "Actors of the Year – Page 7". Esquire. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  72. As listed in the credits on the CD version of The Futurist.
  73. Pensiero, Nicole (December 9, 2004). "Robert Downey Jr. The Futurist". The Heights. Archived from the original on January 8, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
  74. Collar, Matt. "The Futurist: Critic's Review". MSN Music. Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
  75. Horkins, Tony (March 26, 2006). "This Much I Know: Robert Downey Jr". The Observer. UK. Retrieved May 11, 2008.
  76. Sheridan, Chris (2005). Family Guy season 4 DVD commentary for the episode 'The Fat Guy Strangler' (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  77. Italie, Hillel (July 30, 2008). "Robert Downey Jr. postpones memoir". MSNBC. Archived from the original on September 26, 2012. Retrieved January 24, 2008.
  78. Harris, Paul (April 14, 2007). "So Who Was the Zodiac Killer?". The Guardian. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  79. Stiller, Ben (May 11, 2008). "The 2008 Time 100, entry No. 60, 'Robert Downey Jr.'". Time. Retrieved April 17, 2009.
  80. "Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man". Marvel News. September 29, 2006. Archived from the original on May 25, 2012. Retrieved September 29, 2006.
  81. O'Loughlin, Lucy (May 2, 2008). "Robert Downey Jr.'s heroic comeback". The List. Retrieved May 2, 2008.
  82. Anderson, John (April 16, 2008). "Jon Favreau rose from obscurity to direct 'Iron Man'". Kansas Archived from the original on May 3, 2008. Retrieved May 2, 2008.
  83. Hartlaub, Peter (May 5, 2008). "Indie cred gave 'Iron Man' filmmaker his shot". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 2, 2008.
  84. Anderson, John (May 1, 2008). "Nerve of Steel". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 2, 2008.
  85. Masuda, Sylvia (May 2, 2008). "Robert Downey Jr. has reforged his career in 'Iron Man'". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
  86. "Iron Man (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  87. Hornaday, Ann (May 2, 2008). "'Iron Man' Shows Strength of Character". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 2, 2008.
  88. Ansen, David (May 1, 2008). "Putting the Irony in 'Iron Man'". Newsweek. Retrieved May 2, 2008.
  89. Quint (February 9, 2007). "Quint visits the Iron Man production offices! Art! Favreau speaks about sequels (?!?), casting and more!!!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved February 10, 2007.
  90. Graser, Marc (October 28, 2008). "Downey Jr. extends Marvel deal, Actor to star in 'Avengers,' 'Iron Man 3'". Variety. Retrieved October 28, 2008.
  91. Carroll, Larry. "William Hurt Says New Hulk Is More Heroic, Reveals Iron Man Crossover Scene". MTV News. Retrieved April 22, 2008.
  92. Vary, Adam B. (March 5, 2008). "First Look: Stiller's new movie". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  93. "Robert Downey Jr. on 'Thunder'". CBS. August 18, 2008. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
  94. "Tropic Thunder (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  95. "Tropic Thunder Reviews". Meta Critic. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  96. "The 81st Academy Awards (2009) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  97. "The Soloist Delayed Until March 2009". The Moving Picture. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  98. Hynes, Eric (March 2010). "2 high-wire performances that pandered to the academy but didn't even get a nomination". Slate. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  99. Leopold, Todd (January 22, 2009). "'Button' hooks 13 Oscar nominations". CNN. Retrieved January 22, 2009.
  100. Steinberg, Jacques (June 11, 2008). "Robert Downey Jr. to Play Sherlock Holmes'". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2008.
  101. Smith, Grady (December 27, 2009). "Avatar, Sherlock Lead The Largest Weekend in Film History! Top 12 Earned $275 Million!". The Box Office Junkie. Archived from the original on December 31, 2009. Retrieved January 31, 2010. The Top 12 grossed an astonishing $264 million over the weekend frame- the largest weekend in film history
  102. "December 25–27, 2009 – Weekend Studio Estimates". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 31, 2010.
  103. Avengers Star Robert Downey Jr Wins Best Actor Motion Picture Musical or Comedy – Golden Globes 2010. Dick Clark Productions. August 19, 2010. First of all, I'd like to thank Susan Downey for telling me that Matt Damon was going to win so don't bother preparing a speech. That was at about 10 am.
  104. "2010 Worldwide Grosses". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  105. 'Iron Man' Robert Downey Jr. Joins Zack Galifianakis In The Todd Phillips Comedy 'Due Date'. MTV. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
  106. "2010 Yearly Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
  107. Radish, Christina (2012). "Robert Downey Jr. SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS Interview". Collider. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  108. "Marvel's The Avengers (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  109. McClintock, Pamela (June 2, 2012). "Box Office Milestone: 'The Avengers' Becomes No. 3 Pic of All Time With $1.331 Billion". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  110. Kit, Borys (April 3, 2013). "'Gossip Girl' Star Leighton Meester Joins Robert Downey Jr. in 'The Judge'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  111. "#TIFF14 Opens With David Dobkin's The Judge". Archived from the original on September 11, 2014.
  112. "Iron Man 3 Has A Release Date, But What About A Villain?". October 20, 2010. Retrieved December 24, 2010.
  113. Kit, Borys (April 21, 2016). "Robert Downey Jr. Joins 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 21, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  114. Kit, Borys (April 21, 2016). "Robert Downey Jr. Joins 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 21, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  115. Boucher, Geoff (September 14, 2019). "Saturn Awards: 'Spider-Man' Star Tom Holland Wins For Third Year In A Row". Deadline. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  116. D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 7, 2018). "Warner Bros. Dates 'Sherlock Holmes 3' For Christmas 2020". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  117. Schaeffer, Christian (February 11, 2009). "Hump Day Slow Jam of the Week: Gladys Knight & the Pips, "Midnight Train to Georgia"". River Front Times. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  118. excerpt from "Tis the Season" on YouTube. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  119. "Downey Jr. Launches Production Company, Lines Up Steve Mcqueen Yucatan". The Film Stage. June 14, 2010. Archived from the original on June 19, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
  120. "Drugs ruined my relationships, Downey says". April 22, 2008. Retrieved May 2, 2008.
  121. "Robert Downey Jr." episode of Biography, 2007; viewed August 29, 2008.
  122. "Robert Downey Jr. Biography". People. Retrieved July 10, 2014. On September 7, 1993, the couple welcomes a son, Indio.
  123. The Oprah Winfrey Show on YouTube, third segment, November 22, 2004. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
  124. Hall, Katy (August 27, 2005). "Robert Downey Jr. Marries Girlfriend". People. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  125. Stevens, Honie (August 17, 2008). "No joke: actors saved by love". Retrieved January 23, 2009.
  126. Barrett, Jennifer (November 15, 2003). "A Second Chance: Robert Downey Jr Interview". Newsweek. Archived from the original on July 28, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  127. "Robert Downey Jr. Welcomes Son Exton Elias". People. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  128. Downey Jr, Robert [@RobertDowneyJr] (July 9, 2014). "Yo. Susan. Me. Baby. Girl. November. Scorpio?" (Tweet). Retrieved July 10, 2014 via Twitter.
  129. "Um. I don't know if it's a "man's world", but I'm certain women run it. Susan and I are therefore delighted to announce we are expecting a baby. Girl. November. rdj". Robert Downey Jr's Verified Facebook. July 9, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  130. Leonard, Elizabeth. "Robert Downey Jr. Welcomes Daughter Avri Roel". People. Archived from the original on November 6, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  131. Robert Downey Jr. Stands by Mel Gibson February 7, 2007
  132. West, Kevin (March 2007). Robert Downey Jr.? Call Him Mister Clean. W. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  133. "Robert Downey Jr. Stands Up for Mel Gibson". Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  134. Carr, David (April 20, 2008). "With 'Iron Man,' Robert Downey Jr. Winks at his Past and Looks to Transcend it". The New York Times. Retrieved September 6, 2008.
  135. "Robert Downey Jr.: "He Was Skinny"". Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  136. "Robert Downey Jr.'s Cosmic Punishment". Archived from the original on June 30, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  137. Burlingam, Russ (March 10, 2015). "Robert Downey Jr.'s Fight Coordinator Eric Oram on the Unique Challenges of Captain America: Civil War". Comic Book. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  138. St. John, Paige (December 24, 2015). "Gov. Jerry Brown pardons Robert Downey Jr. for 1990s drug offenses". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  139. "Pardon : Brian Keith Allison" (PDF). Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  140. Priyadarshi, Mohit (December 25, 2015). "Robert Downey Jr beat drug addiction with kung fu". Inquisitr. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  141. De Vries, Hilary (November 21, 2004). "Robert Downey Jr.: The Album". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  142. Muthanna, Anjali (April 20, 2012). "Celebs seek guidance from the stars". The Times of India. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  143. Carr, David (April 20, 2008). "Been Up, Been Down. Now? Super". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  144. "Robert Downey Jr full interview: star walks out when asked about past". Channel 4 News. April 22, 2015.
  145. O'Hara, Mara (June 20, 2015). "Scott Budnick, Hollywood blockbuster producer, gave it all up to reform prisons". The Guardian.
  146. "Robert Downey Jr. offers up a naked Mark Ruffalo to encourage Americans to vote video". The Guardian. September 22, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2016.

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.