Born in New York City on April 4, 1965, Robert Downey Jr. began acting as a young child. He made his first film appearances and was a cast member on Saturday Night Live in the 1980s, but his growing success was marred by years of struggles with drug abuse. Eventually turning his life around, he earned a resurgence of critical and popular acclaim, and is considered one of Hollywood’s A-list actors.
Downey Jr. made his debut as an actor at the age of five in the film Pound (1970), written and directed by his father, Robert Downey Sr.. He built his film repertoire throughout the 1980s and 1990s with roles in Tuff Turf (1985), Weird Science (1985), True Believer (1989), and Wonder Boys (2000) among many others. In 1992, Downey received an Academy Award nomination and won the BAFTA (British Academy Award) for Best Actor for his performance in the title role of Chaplin (1992).
In May 2008, Downey achieved critical acclaim and worldwide box office success for his starring role in Iron Man (2008), Jon Favreau’s big-screen rendering of the Marvel comic book superhero. The film co-starred Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges and Terrence Howard. In August of 2008, Downey starred with Ben Stiller and Jack Black in the comedy Tropic Thunder (2008), and went on to receive an Academy Award®-nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his, Kirk Lazarus.
Downey was honored by Time Magazine’s “Time 100” in 2008, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. His laurels include two Academy Award nominations, three Golden Globe wins, numerous other award nominations and wins, and tremendous popular and commercial success, particularly in his roles as Sherlock Holmes and Tony Stark (the latter of which he has so far played in Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Iron Man Three (2013), and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). For three consecutive years, from 2012 to 2015, Downey has topped the Forbes list of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors, making an estimated $80 million in earnings between June 2014 and June 2015.