Robert John Downey Jr. (born April 4, 1965) ] is an American actor, producer, and singer. His career has been characterized by critical and popular notoriety in his youth, followed by a period of substance abuse and legal troubles, before a resumption of critical repute and resurgence of commercial success in middle age. In 2008, Downey was named by Time magazine among the 100 most influential people in the world,and from 2013 to 2015, he was listed by Forbes as Hollywood’s highest-paid actor His films have grossed over $5.8 billion in North America and over $14.4 billion worldwide making him the second-highest-grossing box-office actor to date both domestically and worldwide.
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. 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 playing Tony Stark in ten films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, beginning with Iron Man (2008) and concluding with 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. Downey’s father is of half Lithuanian Jewish, one-quarter Hungarian Jewish, and one-quarter Irish descent,while Downey’s mother had Scottish, German, and Swiss ancestry.Robert’s original family name was Elias which was changed by his father to enlist in the Army. Downey and his older sister Allyson grew up in Greenwich Village.
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. 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.”
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 Greaser’s Palace (1972).At the age of 10, he was living in England and studied classical ballet as part of a larger curriculum.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.
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