Robert Downey Jr. Wiki: 5 Facts To Know About ‘The Iron Man’ Actor

‘Iron Man’ star Robert Downey Jr. has played some of the most iconic characters on the big screen. Here are some facts about the actor including his overall net worth.

Robert Downey Jr.: Hollywood Star

It’s hard to ignore someone like Robert Downey Jr. He’s charismatic. He’s played iconic characters like Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes. He’s one of Hollywood’s most talented and highest paid actors. These days, majority of people probably know Downey as the “genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist” Tony Stark in “The Avengers” and “Iron Man” film series. “Avengers: Infinity War” will be released soon, and Downey is slated to appear in the currently untitled Avengers film next year. But what else do you need to know about Robert Downey Jr.? Read on and get to know the facts about one of Hollywood’s top actors.

Childhood and early life

Born on April 4, 1965 in New York City, Robert John Downey Jr. is the son of Robert Downey Sr. and Elsie Ann Downey. His father’s original surname was Elias but he later changed it to Downey. He has an older sister named Allyson. The actor grew up in Manhattan, New York but also spent some years living in London, England and Santa Monica, California. Downey’s parents divorced when he was a young teenager. He attended Santa Monica High School in California but dropped out to focus on his acting career in New York.

Career as an actor

As a 17-year-old, Robert Downey Jr. chose to move back to New York instead of finishing high school in California. Since then, he has appeared in various films and TV shows. Downey also gained numerous recognition for work. But the star of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ did not achieve success that easily. Downey has been through several ups and downs in his career before becoming the successful actor that he is today.

RDJ as a child actor

Because his father was a filmmaker, Robert Downey Jr. had the chance to appear in films at a young age. He was cast in the film ‘Pound’ in 1970 and ‘Greaser’s Palace’ in 1972. Both films were directed by his father.

His acting career started in the 1980’s

As a young aspiring actor in New York City, Robert Downey Jr. took on roles in theater productions. Downey was also selected as one of the early cast members of ‘Saturday Night Live.’ He appeared in 16 episodes of ‘SNL’ from 1985 until 1986 but his time on ‘SNL’ was short lived due to low ratings. He went on to appear in several other films in the 1980’s including ‘Firstborn,’ ‘Tuff Turf,’ and ‘Weird Science.’ Downey’s first starring role was the 1987 romantic comedy film ‘The Pick-up Artist’ alongside Molly Ringwald.

Member of the ‘Brat Pack’

After his first starring role in ‘The Pick-up Artist,’ Downey went on to star in other coming-of-age films like ‘Less Than Zero’ and ‘Johnny Be Good.’ Because of this, Robert Downey Jr. was known to be a member of the ‘Brat Pack’ in the 1980’s. A ‘Brat Pack’ member is a term used to describe an actor who usually appears in a coming-of-age film. Downey’s performance in ‘Less Than Zero’ allowed him to land roles in bigger movies.

Popularity in the 1990’s

The 1992 film ‘Chaplin’ has been a notable one for Robert Downey Jr. His performance landed him several nominations. Downey is the first and currently the only actor to earn a Golden Globe nomination for portraying the famous comedian, Charlie Chaplin. RDJ won a BAFTA Award for that role and was also nominated for an Oscar. Aside from ‘Chaplin,’ Downey also appeared in films like ‘Soapdish,’ ‘Heart and Souls,’ ‘Hail Caesar,’ ‘Natural Born Killers,’ and ‘Restoration.’

Career decline and comeback

Robert Downey Jr. faced drawbacks in his career towards the end of the 1990’s. His drug addiction led to numerous legal issues, and it took a toll on his acting career. Downey had to be dropped from TV shows and films because he went in and out of jail and rehab. RDJ eventually recovered from his addictions after five years of trying. Actor Mel Gibson helped him to become a part of the film ‘The Singing Detective,’ and Downey credits Gibson for reviving his career. Downey got back on track and continued his career as an actor. He acted in films like ‘Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,’ ‘Good Night and Good Luck,’ and ‘Zodiac.’

Achieving success in Hollywood

The year 2008 is the year where it all started once again for Robert Downey Jr. Yes, he was already 43 years old that time but who says you can’t be a box-office star in your 40s? Two of Downey’s films – ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Tropic Thunder’ – both achieved commercial success in 2008.

‘Iron Man’

The first ‘Iron Man’ movie came out in 2008 and it was followed by ‘Iron Man 2’ in 2010 and ‘Iron Man 3’ in 2013. The movie franchise proved to be a success. ‘Iron Man’ proved to be a box-office hit worldwide. Since then, it’s almost impossible to separate Tony Stark from Robert Downey Jr. It’s like he was really destined to become the “genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist” Tony Stark on the big screen. According to director Jon Favreau: “Downey wasn’t the most obvious choice, but he understood what makes the character tick. He found a lot of his own life experience in ‘Tony Stark’.”

‘Sherlock Holmes’

Following his success in the first ‘Iron Man’ film, Downey traded his Iron Man suit for a 1890’s detective costume in the 2009 film ‘Sherlock Holmes.’ He appeared alongside Jude Law and Rachel McAdams and the film turned out to be a box-office success. Downey reprised his role in ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.’

‘The Avengers’ and other Marvel films

In 2012’s ‘The Avengers,’ RDJ appeared in his first Marvel film outside the ‘Iron Man’ film series. ‘The Avengers’ proved to be a worldwide hit. It was the highest grossing movie in 2012. Downey also appeared as Tony Stark / Iron Man in other Marvel Cinematic Universe films such as ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming.’ This year, Marvel fans are excited to see ‘Iron Man’ and the other Avengers in ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’ Robert Downey Jr. together with Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and the other cast members will be appearing in the untitled Avengers film (or ‘Avengers 4’) in 2019.

Projects for 2018

Aside from working on the untitled Avengers film, Downey will be appearing in a Pinocchio film. He is also a part of an upcoming film called ‘All-Star Weekend.’

Relationships and family

Robert Downey Jr. has had a relationship with actress and ‘Firstborn’ co-star Sarah Jessica Parker in the early 1980’s. Their relationship ended due to the actor’s substance abuse. In 1992, Downey married singer and actress Deborah Falconer after dating her for just 42 days. The couple welcomed a son named Indio in 1993. Just like in Downey’s previous relationship, the actor’s issues with drugs and alcohol created problems in their marriage. Downey and Falconer eventually divorced. ‘The Avengers’ star RDJ is currently married to Susan Downey, a film producer. He met his present wife on the set of the 2003 film ‘Gothika.’ They have a son named Exton Elias, born in 2012, and a daughter named Avri Roel, born in 2014.

Five interesting facts: net worth, film debut, etc.

Here are five interesting facts to know about the ‘Tropic Thunder’ and ‘Captain America: Civil War’ star, Robert Downey Jr.

Young Robert Downey Jr. was a puppy in a film

Before Robert Downey Jr. became Iron Man, he was first a puppy. Yes, five-year-old Downey made his film debut in ‘Pound’ in 1970. This surreal comedy film was directed by his father, Robert Downey Sr. The film is about animals which were portrayed by human actors.

His rough past

It’s not a secret that Robert Downey Jr. has had troubles with drugs and alcohol. The actor had his first encounter with drugs when he was only a child. Downey’s father was a drug addict, and that’s how the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ star fell into addiction. His father eventually admitted that he regrets allowing Downey Jr. to use drugs as a young boy. Downey struggled with alcohol and substance abuse which led to several arrests. The actor attempted to treat his addiction many times but found it difficult due to his exposure to drugs as a child. From the late 1990’s until the early 2000’s, Downey’s addiction to illegal substances constantly put his career on jeopardy. He was written off the TV show ‘Ally McBeal’ even though his character increased the ratings of the show. Downey’s trouble with the law also caused him to lose his role in the film ‘America’s Sweethearts.’ Thanks to the help of his family and recovery programs, Downey has been drug-free since 2003. The ‘Tropic Thunder’ actor has moved on from his rough past. However, it is still an issue for some. In 2008, Downey flew to Tokyo, Japan for the ‘Iron Man’ premiere. Did you know that he was detained and questioned for six hours at the airport? This was due to the drug charges that he faced in the past.

RDJ can sing

Robert Downey Jr. isn’t just an actor, but he’s a singer too. Downey has showcased his singing talent in the TV show ‘Ally McBeal.’ He has also sung on the official soundtracks of some of his films like ‘Chaplin,’ ‘Friends and Lovers,’ and ‘The Singing Detective.’ Did you know that RDJ has even released his own album? He released ‘The Futurist’ in 2004. Downey and his ‘Tropic Thunder’ co-stars Jack Black and Ben Stiller were once back-up singers to Gladys Knight.

And he can also dance ballet

He can act. He can sing. He can dance ballet too. Robert Downey Jr. has studied classical ballet in Perry House School when he was growing up in London. The actor might not be able to show his dancing skills as Iron Man in ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ but you can see many YouTube videos of RDJ dancing.

What is the actor’s net worth?

Robert Downey Jr. might not have a billion-dollar net worth like his ‘The Avengers’ alter ego Tony Stark, but the actor’s net worth is on a very impressive level. Downey is one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors. His films such as ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Captain America: Civil War’ are box-office hits. It is no surprise that he currently has a net worth of $260 million. The upcoming release of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ this 2018 and the untitled Avengers film in 2019 will definitely increase Downey’s current net worth.

RDJ on social media

Robert Downey Jr.’s social media presence shows the actor’s quirky side that most fans are very fond of. He has over 19 million follows on Instagram and more than 10 million follows on Twitter. Recently, Downey’s exchange of tweets with Marvel Studios caught the attention of many. The actor apparently requested Marvel to move the release of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ to an earlier date. Of course, many fans are happy about it. Downey frequently posts photos of him with his fellow ‘Avengers’ cast members on Instagram.