Robert Downey Jr. - From Troubled Actor To Iron Man

He has worked in film and television throughout his adult life, and throughout the 80s starred in a series of coming of age films before developing a drug habit that he couldn't shake. Despite this, Downey landed roles in bigger films such as 'Air America', opposite Mel Gibson, before being cast in the 1992 autobiographical film Chaplin. Afterward, he was frequently arrested on drug-related charges and went through several drug treatment programs. In 2008, the actor appeared as Iron Man, instantly securing his place as a blockbuster name in Hollywood. Join WatchMojo.com as we take a look at the fascinating career of Robert Downey Jr.
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Robert Downey Jr. :From Troubled Actor To Iron Man

He was a troubled actor that made several high profile comebacks before securing himself as a Hollywood superstar. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be taking a look at the career of Robert Downey Jr.

Born in New York City on April 4th, 1965 he was influenced to take up acting at a young age by his parents who were both film performers. By the time he was ten he had already appeared in two of his father’s films and had been sent overseas to study classical ballet.

Afterward, he returned home to attend the Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center and in 1985 joined the cast of Saturday Night Live. Unfortunately, he was fired the following year due to low ratings.

Despite this false start in television, he had already appeared in several coming of age films, such as “Back to School” and “Weird Science”; before landing his first lead role in 1987’s “The Pick-Up Artist”.

That same year, he received attention for his portrayal of a junkie in “Less Than Zero.” Ironically, Downey soon got caught up in his own struggle with substance abuse.

At first, his career seemed unaffected as he began starring opposite top Hollywood talent, such as Mel Gibson in “Air America”. He also won a BAFTA award and secured an Academy Award nomination for his riveting performance in the autobiographical film “Chaplin.”

However, in 1996 things started to fall apart when he was arrested for driving under the Influence, while in possession of Heroin and a firearm.

As a result, Downey was required to take daily drug tests on the set of 1997’s ‘Two Girls and A Guy”. While he managed to stay clean for the shoot, he quickly fell back into his old habit and spent several years drifting back and forth between treatment facilities and prison.

In 2000, Downey attempted to refresh his career and public image by appearing in the popular drama series ‘Ally McBeal.” While he received high praise for his performance, he was dropped when he was once again arrested on possession charges.

His uphill battle to clean himself up came to a head on the set of 2003’s horror film “Gothika”, when he met his second wife and gained strength from her support.

Following this turning point, he set out to re-energize his career by landing parts in various projects, such as “Kiss, kiss, Bang, Bang”, “Good Night and Good Luck” and 2007’s thriller “Zodiac.”

And in 2008, Downey finally made it big when he appeared in his first ever blockbuster film “Iron Man”, as the rich industrialist-turned-superhero Tony Stark.

That same year he appeared in “The Soloist”, before starring opposite Ben Stiller in the comedy hit “Tropic Thunder” as Aussie method actor Kirk Lazurus portraying black-faced jive-talking soldier Lincoln Osiris. The offbeat role was so well received that he received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.

Downey then further positioned himself as a box-office juggernaut by starring in Guy Ritchie’s wildly successful adaptation of “Sherlock Holmes”, before again wearing the robotic suit that made him an overnight sensation in “Iron Man 2” and 2012’s “The Avengers.”
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