It's 1993, and it looks like he is on top of the world. There's a loving wife, a newborn son, and an Oscar nomination for his performance as Charlie Chaplin in the movie 'Chaplin.' Then, something had got in the way of the actor's deserved promotion to star parts. Word was getting around about his private life, and frightening the projects away. Until 1996, none of the actor's problems had become public. But his image was beginning to shake. He lost himself to drug abuse.
But in 2008, this 43-year old mature, and intriguingly ambivalent actor marveled everyone with a movie, which attained him the block-buster glory, an actor who not long ago was deemed too unreliable to be employable. The actor is the most brilliant and versatile actor of our generation, Robert Downey Jr.
- The son of underground filmmaker Robert Downey, Downey Jr. was born in New York City on April 4, 1965. His mother was also an actress. Robert Downey Sr. handed him small parts in his films, casting Robert when he was only five years old.
- Downey Sr. also introduced his son a thing, which no parent would think of. He allegedly shared his first marijuana cigarette with Downey Sr. when he was eight years old. "I think a lot of us did things and thought it would be hypocritical not to have our kids participate in marijuana, and so we thought it was cute to let them smoke it and all. It was an idiot move on our parts." Downey Senior admits.
- When Robert turned thirteen, his parents divorced and he moved onto Los Angeles to live with his father. Three years later, Robert dropped out of high school, and moved back to New York to live with his mother. Between 1972 and 1990, he made cameo appearances in five of his father's films.
- Robert's first significant role, in 1983's Baby, It's You, largely ended up on the cutting-room floor; it wasn't until two years later that he began landing more substantial parts, first as a one-season cast member on Saturday Night Live and then in the comedy Weird Science.
- In 1987, he landed plum roles in two films that capitalized the 'Saturday Night Live fame', James Toback's The Pick-Up Artist, and Less Than Zero, for which he won acclaim playing cocaine addict Julian Wells. His roles in movies like Short Cuts, Richard III, Chaplin, and Natural Born Killers wowed viewers around the world.
- In fact, critics deemed Downey's portrayal as one of the only worthwhile elements in the Chaplin biopic, and it earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination, as well as Golden Globe and British Academy Award noms. Around this time, Downey's personal life took a turn for the worse.
- In June 1996, the LAPD arrested the actor (who had already spent time in three rehabilitation facilities between 1987 and 1996) on counts including drug use, driving under the influence, possession of a concealed weapon, and possession of illegal substances. A month after this arrest, police found Downey Jr. unconscious on a neighbor's lawn, under the influence of a controlled substance, and authorities again incarcerated him, taking him this time to a rehab center.
- A third arrest soon followed, as did another stint in rehab. His stay in rehab didn't last long, as he walked out, thereby violating the conditions of his bail. More arrests and complications followed.
- In 1999, he had three films out in theaters: Friends and Lovers, Bowfinger, and In Dreams. He delivered a particularly chilling performance in the latter, as longhaired psychopathic child murderer Vivian Thompson, that arguably ranked with his finest work. But Downey's problems caught up with him again that same year, when he was re-arrested and sentenced to 12 months in a state penitentiary.
- In 2002, a Riverside, CA, judge dismissed all counts against Downey. In time, the former addict counseled other celebrity addicts and became something of a spokesperson for rehabilitation.
- Downey continued to show his versatility by joining the casts of Zodiac, David Fincher's highly-touted film about the Zodiac Killer, and the Diane Arbus biopic Fur, with Nicole Kidman.
- Apart from his acting career, Robert has also developed another profession as a music artist through the launching of his debut album, "The Futurist", under Sony Classical on November, 2004.
- The biggest was yet to come, however, as 2007 found Downey taking on the roles that would make him an even bigger star than he'd been in his youth, as he took on the leading role of sarcastic billionaire and part-time super hero Tony Stark in the big screen adaptation of the comic book Iron Man, as well as self-important actor Kirk Lazarus in the comedy Tropic Thunder. Both films turned out to be not just blockbuster successes at the box office, but breakaway hits with critics as well.
- Trade Mark : Known for not being especially humble. Sarcastic humorous deliveries while remaining completely stone-faced. Frequently plays intelligent but eccentric characters.
- Ranked #60 in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the world. Is the first, and thus far only, actor to win a Golden Globe for portraying Sherlock Holmes. Was a fan of the Iron Man comics as a kid.
Robert Downey Jr. Quotes
[on his addiction to drugs]: "It's like I have a loaded gun in my mouth, and I like the taste of metal."
"I don't want to go all Michael Jackson on you, but I never really had a childhood."
[on winning an Oscar] "As long as I stick around I'm going to end up with a bunch of them anyway as they're going to run out of people to give them to. And I'm probably going to win it one year when someone else deserves to win it. Why? Because it's my time, goddammit. And that's the way it works around here."
"I've noticed that worrying is like praying for what you don't want to happen. I don't worry, but I observe where my mind tends to go. I have such an overwhelming sense that if you're in the right state of heart, which I have been for a little while, the next right thing appears to you."
"What do you say, though -- if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plan."
Downey has a vision of the world that is darker and more grown up than is available to most actors. He is someone who is a like a heart for a film nowadays. Downey's journey from hell to Hollywood fame is shocking, funny, moving, and inspirational. From his first role as a five year old to a billionaire Tony Stark, in Avengers, he is a distinctive and shinning star of Hollywood. Robert Downey Jr. is the real 'Iron Man' because he has harnessed all his inner demons.
Robert Downey Jr. - Imdb
Robert Downey Jr. - Wikipedia