Robert Downey (born April 4, 1965, is an American actor and producer whose career has been characterized by critical and popular success in his youth and then followed by a period of legal troubles and substance abuse before a complete resurgence of commercial success. Downey was named in Times Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world in 2008, and Forbes Magazine listed him as Hollywood’s highest-paid actor from 2013–2015.
Downey’s acting debut came at the age of five in a Robert Downey Sr.’s film titled Pound in 1970. Subsequently, he worked with Brat Pack in the teenage films Weird Science in 1985 and Less than Zero in 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.
After recovering at the Corcoran Substance Abuse Treatment Facility, he joined the TV series Ally McBeal cast, which earned him a Golden Globe Award. However, in the wake of his drug charges in 2000 and 2001, he was fired from the show. He subsequently went into a court-ordered drug treatment facility and has maintained his sobriety since 2003.
Downey’s stunning filmography includes starring in The Singing Detective in 2003, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a 2005 black comedy. He featured in a 2007 thriller, Zodiac, and action-comedy Tropic Thunder, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Considering his stint with drugs and an unending legal controversy, Downey’s return to global recognition began when he starred as Tony Stark/Iron Man in ten films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with Iron Man in 2008. He has also played the title character in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes in 2009, which earned him his second Golden Globe. He also played the title character in its sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, in 2011.
Away from the screen, Downey is responsible for several soundtracks of his films, such as Two Girls and a Guy, Friends and Lovers, Too Much Sun, The Singing Detective, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. In 2001, Downey appeared in the music video for Elton John’s song, “I Want Love,” and he released a CD titled “The Futurist” in 2004 while promoting his film Tropic Thunder.
On June 14, 2010, Downey and his wife Susan announced the founding of their production company called Team Downey and their first project was called The Judge.
According to Downey, he has been drug-free since July 2003 and credits his wife Susan for helping him overcome his alcohol and substance abuse problems. He attributed his recovery to his family’s efforts, meditation, therapy, twelve-step recovery programs, yoga, and the practice of Wing Chun Kung Fu, the martial art he learned from Eric Oram. Eric is also the fight consultant in several of Downey’s movies. Oram was Downey’s fight coordinator in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.
In December 2015, Downey received an unconditional pardon from the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, for his prior drug convictions.