Robert Downey Jr.
From early success to troubled drug days to newfound stardom in “Iron Man.”
Showing some skin
Downey Jr. donned lederhosen while promoting "Iron Man 3" with co-star Gwyneth Paltrow in Munich, Germany on April 12, 2013.
Downey Jr. and his wife Susan Downey, a producer, arrive at the premiere of 'The Avengers' on April 11, 2012 in Hollywood.
Choice of the people
Actor Robert Downey Jr. won two People's Choice Awards on Jan. 9, 2013. He won favorite movie actor and favorite movie superhero, but lost out to Chris Hemsworth for favorite action movie star.
Need a hand?
Downey Jr. arrives at the "Iron Man 3" panel during Comic-Con International 2012 on July 14, 2012 in San Diego, Calif.
Downey Jr., in "Iron Man" suit, prepares for battle with his fellow superheroes in the 2012 film "The Avengers."
Downey Jr. reprises his role as Sherlock Holmes in the 2011 action adventure mystery "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows." The film also stars Noomi Rapace as Sim, and Jude Law is back in his role as Watson.
Downey Jr. stars opposite Zach Galifianakis in the 2010 comedy "Due Date." Downey Jr. plays Peter Highman, a high-strung father-to-be who is forced to join aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay on a road trip in order to make it home on time for his child's birth.
Father and son
Director and actor Robert Downey Sr. speaks onstage during the 25th American Cinematheque Awards honoring his son, Robert, held at The Beverly Hilton hotel on Oct. 14, 2011, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Robert Downey Jr. has his hands imprinted in the concrete at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., on Dec. 7, 2009. "It's just kinda wild that I'm here now," he told Entertainment Tonight. "I remember when I was a kid and we lived up the street, I used to walk down here ... and I'd look at all these names."
Elementary, dear Watson
Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. star as Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes in Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes." The film is based on the graphic novel by Lionel Wigram. The new Holmes reportedly is more adventuresome than past depictions, and takes full advantage of his skills as a boxer and swordsman.
Mind the gap
A wax figure portraying Robert Downey Jr. in his latest role as Sherlock Holmes stands on the platform at Baker Street tube station before taking up residence at London's Madame Tussauds on Dec. 9, 2009.
Former musical prodigy turned homeless man, Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx) is discovered on the streets of downtown Los Angeles by newspaper columnist Steve Lopez (Downey) in "The Soloist," the new movie from "Atonement" director Joe Wright.
Downey and wife Susan arrive at the 81st Annual Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009 in Los Angeles, Calif. Downey was nominated for best supporting actor for his role in "Tropic Thunder," but the award went to the late Heath Ledger.
Downey took on the controversial role of Kirk Lazarus in "Tropic Thunder." Lazarus, a serious Australian actor, changes his skin pigment to take on the role of an African-American soldier in a Vietnam War film. Downey delivered some classic lines in the film, such as "Man, I don't drop character 'till I done the DVD commentary."
Father knows best
Downey and his son Indio attend the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz playoff game at the Staples Center on May 4, 2008 in Los Angeles. Indio is Downey's son with former wife Deborah Falconer.
Don't call it a comeback
Downey wowed fans and critics alike with his turn as Tony Stark in Jon Favreau's "Iron Man." Stark is a wealthy industrialist who, after being kidnapped by terrorists, builds an iron suit to escape. He then realizes that he can use his new suit to fight evil. Downey brought a casual charm to the role; a sequel is already shooting.
Downey attends the "Iron Man" press conference at Shinagawa Prince Hotel on Sept. 3, 2008 in Tokyo, Japan. The film earned over $582 million worldwide.
Downey co-starred as grizzled reporter Paul Avery in David Fincher's 2007 film "Zodiac," which tracked the fruitless search for the Zodiac killer in the 1970s. Avery's career is derailed when the killer's trail goes cold.
Downey co-starred as Jim Barris in Richard Linklater's 2006 film, "A Scanner Darkly." Set in suburban Orange County, Calif., in a future where America has lost the war on drugs, a reluctant undercover cop (Keanu Reeves) is ordered to start spying on his friends, and is launched on a paranoid journey into the absurd. The film is based on the book by Philip K. Dick and was filmed digitally and then animated using interpolated rotoscope over the original footage.
This one's a dog
Downey co-starred in the 2006 "Shaggy Dog" remake as Dr. Kozak, a scientist who kidnaps a 300-year-old sheepdog in order to find out the dog's secret to longevity. But when the dog escapes and bites Deputy District Attorney Dave Douglas (Tim Allen), the lawyer turns into a sheepdog.
Dianne Wiest and Downey star in 2006's "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints." The film is a coming-of-age drama about a boy growing up in Astoria, N.Y., during the 1980s. As his friends end up dead, on drugs or in prison, he comes to believe he has been saved from their fate by various so-called saints.
Downey attends the D&G Cannes Party at the Martinez Hotel during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 26, 2006 in Cannes, France.
With a bang
In 2005's "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang," a petty thief (Downey) is brought to Los Angeles for an unlikely audition and finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation along with his high school dream girl (Michelle Monaghan) and a gay detective (Val Kilmer) who has been training him for his upcoming role.
Downey poses at an in-store appearance to sign his new CD "The Futurist" at Virgin Megastore on Nov. 23, 2004 in Los Angeles, Calif. Downey sings and plays piano on the album.
Downey is shown in a mug shot profile Nov. 25, 2000, after his arrest at the Merv Griffin Resort in Palm Springs, Calif. for drug possession. An anonymous caller led investigators to a hotel room at the resort where they found the actor with cocaine and methamphetamines, Palm Springs police officer Ralph Landry said.
Golden Globe winner
Downey won the award for best supporting actor in a TV series for his role in "Ally McBeal" during the 58th Annual Golden Globes in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Jan. 21, 2001. Downey was fired from the show after two arrests in late 2000.
Downey is handcuffed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy after being sentenced to jail for six months for violating parole on a prior drug conviction, Monday, Dec. 8, 1997 in Malibu, Calif. Downey's probation was revoked on Oct. 17 of that year when his drug counselor told authorities that the actor violated a court order by using drugs and alcohol in September.
Downey makes an appearance at Malibu Municipal Court for a bail hearing, July 29, 1996. Downey was sentenced to a 3-year prison sentence after missing another drug test in 1999. And after serving nearly a year in California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran, Calif., he was released on $5,000 bail.
Natural born talent
Downey played tabloid TV reporter Wayne Gale in Oliver Stone's 1994 film, "Natural Born Killers." The film tells the story of a pair of serial killers, played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, and the reporter (Downey) who sets out to glorify them.
Downey was nominated for an Oscar for his work in the 1992 film, "Chaplin," in which he played the title role, that of actor Charlie Chaplin. Richard Attenborough's biopic followed the life of the sometimes controversial and troubled filmmaker and actor. Downey won the BAFTA award for best actor for the role.
Downey met Sarah Jessica Parker on the set of the 1984 film, "Firstborn." The couple broke up in 1991. Downey also dated actress Marisa Tomei before marrying Deborah Falconer in 1992.
Sign of things to come
Downey starred with Andrew McCarthy and Jami Gertz in 1987's "Less Than Zero." In a role that may have hit a bit too close to home for the troubled star, Downey played a junkie who can't save himself from his own demons. Roger Ebert called Downey's acting "so real, so subtle and so observant that it's scary."
Downey starred opposite Molly Ringwald in James Toback's 1987 film "The Pick-up Artist," in which he plays a womanizer who meets his match in the daughter of a mobster. Toback is a director who would remain loyal to Downey throughout his struggle with drugs, casting him in "Two Girls and a Guy" and "Black and White," when other directors had seemingly given up on him.
Live from New York
In 1985, Downey joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live." The featured players were, (l-r): Nora Dunn, Danitra Vance, Randy Quaid, Downey, Anthony Michael Hall, Terry Sweeney, Joan Cusack and Jon Lovitz. Downey was among those let go the following year due to a ratings slump.
Downey played a bully who tried to get the best of Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith in 1985's "Weird Science." The film, which told the story of two nerds who create the perfect woman, was among those that earned Downey a place in the "Brat Pack."