Robert Downey Jr. has evolved into one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. With an amazing list of credits to his name, he has managed to stay new and fresh even after over four decades in the business.
Downey was born April 4, 1965 in Manhattan, New York, the son of writer, director and filmographer Robert Downey Sr. and actress Elsie Downey (née Elsie Ann Ford). Robert’s father is of half Lithuanian Jewish, one quarter Hungarian Jewish, and one quarter Irish, descent, while Robert’s mother was of English, Scottish, German, and Swiss-German ancestry. Robert and his sister, Allyson Downey, were immersed in film and the performing arts from a very young age, leading Downey Jr. to study at the Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in upstate New York, before moving to California with his father following his parents’ 1978 divorce. In 1982, he dropped out of Santa Monica High School to pursue acting full time. Downey Sr., himself a drug addict, exposed his son to drugs at a very early age, and Downey Jr. would go on to struggle with abuse for decades.
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).
Robert John Downey Jr. (born April 4, 1965 in New York City) acted in The Pick-up Artist (1987) by James Toback with Molly Ringwald, Less Than Zero (1987) from the 1985 novel by Bret Easton Ellis with Andrew McCarthy, Air America (1990) by Roger Spottiswood with Mel Gibson, Soapdish (1991) by Michael Hoffman with Kevin Kline, Natural Born Killers (1994) by Oliver Stone with Woody Harrelson, In Dreams (1999) by Neil Jordan with Annette Bening. He portrayed the legendary Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin (1992) directed by Richard Attenborough. He acted on television in Ally McBeal (2000) with Calista Flockhart. He starred in The Singing Detective (2003) from the BBC serial by Dennis Potter, acted with Halle Berry in Gothika (2003), with David Strathairn in Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) directed by George Clooney, with Val Kilmer in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) by Shane Black, with Nicole Kidman in Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006), with Mark Ruffalo and Jake Gyllenhaal in Zodiac (2007) by David Fincher, with Ben Stiller in Tropic Thunder (2008), with Jamie Foxx in The Soloists (2009) directed by Joe Wright from the book by Steve Lopez, with Jude Law in Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) directed by Guy Ritchie. He played Marvel Comics superhero Tony Stark in Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010) directed by Jon Favreau, Iron Man 3 (2013) directed by Shane Black, The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017). He produced and starred in The Judge (2014) with Robert Duvall.