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Fall

Robert Downey Jr.

From early success to troubled drug days to newfound stardom in “Iron Man.”

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Image: GERMANY-CINEMA-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.

Christof Stache / AFP
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Premiere Of Marvel Studios' "Marvel's The Avengers" - Arrivals

Power couple

Downey Jr. and his wife Susan Downey, a producer, arrive at the premiere of 'The Avengers' on April 11, 2012 in Hollywood.

Jason Merritt / Getty Images North America
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39th Annual People's Choice Awards - Portraits

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.

Christopher Polk / Getty Images North America
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Comic-Con International 2012 - Marvel Studios Panels

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.

Alberto E. Rodriguez / WireImage
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Image: Publicity photo from the film "The Avengers"

Avengers assemble!

Downey Jr., in "Iron Man" suit, prepares for battle with his fellow superheroes in the 2012 film "The Avengers."

Handout / X80001
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Adventurous game

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.

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Road trip!

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.

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25th American Cinematheque Award Honoring Robert Downey, Jr. - Show

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.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images North America
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Image: Robert Downey Jr. Hand And Foot Print Ceremony At Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Immortalized

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."

Kristian Dowling / Getty Images North America
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(L-r) JUDE LAW as Dr. Watson and ROBERT DOWNEY JR. as Sherlock Holmes

Guy Ritchie has come aboard to direct, based on Lionel Wigram's upcoming comic book "Sherlock Holmes."

The logline remains under wraps, but executives at Warners are aiming to reinvent Holmes and sidekick Dr. John H. Watson. Wigram's noted that the new Holmes would be more adventuresome and take advantage of his skills as a boxer and swordsman.

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.

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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.

David Parry / PA
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Former musical prodigy turned homeless man, Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx, left) is discovered on the streets of downtown Los Angeles by newspaper columnist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr., right)

Going 'Soloist'

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.

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81st Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Happy couple

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.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images North America
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Tropic Thunder - -Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.) is an Oscar-winning actor who will go to extreme lengths to get into character

Risk taker

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."

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Celebrities Attend The Lakers Game

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.

Noel Vasquez / Getty Images North America
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IRON MAN - - Based on the long-running Marvel comic book series, "Iron Man" tells the story of Tony Stark, the enigmatic heir to the Stark Enterprises fortune. A driven inventor and executive who seems to have it all, Tony is haunted by his dark side. Though he commands his empire by day, by night he secretly becomes "Iron Man," the living embodiment of decades of defense spending and innovation. Strapping on billions of dollars worth of state-of-the-art armor and weaponry each night to fight crime, terrorism and corporate espionage, Tony begins to crack under the strain of his fractured lifestyle and must ultimately confront the one enemy he can never beat -- himself.

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.

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"Iron Man" Press Conference

He's money

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.

Koichi Kamoshida / Getty Images AsiaPac
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Zodiac Photo
Copyright ?

Killer role

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.

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Robert Downey Jr. as Jim Barris
"A Scanner Darkly" is set in suburban Orange County, California in a future where America has lost the war on drugs. When one reluctant undercover cop is ordered to start spying on his friends, he is launched on a paranoid journey into the absurd, where identities and loyalties are impossible to decode. It is a cautionary tale of drug use based on the novel by Philip K. Dick and his own experiences.

Getting animated

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.

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(Left to right) The Shaggy Dog, Robert Downey, Jr., Bess Wohl.

The new version will be based on the storyline from The Shaggy D.A., a sequel to the original 1959 Fred MacMurray comedy. Allen will play a lawyer whose devotion to his career comes at the expense of his family. His transformation into a dog hampers his career, but teaches him to be a better father and husband.

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.

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Dianne Wiest as Flori and Robert Downey Jr. as adult Dito

"A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" 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. 

co-produced by Robert Downey Jr.
Won - Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize - Dramatic

Saintly story

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.

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Cannes - D&G Cannes Party

Actor abroad

Downey attends the D&G Cannes Party at the Martinez Hotel during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 26, 2006 in Cannes, France.

Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images Europe
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ROBERT DOWNEY JR. and VAL KILMER

In "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang," a breezy take on Shane Black's trademark buddy action/comedy oeuvre, a petty thief (Robert Downey Jr.) 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 detective (Val Kilmer) who has been training him for his upcoming role. 

Produced by Susan Levin (Downey)
Cameo by Indio Falconer Downey

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.

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Robert Downey Jr. CD Singing At Virgin Megastore

Music man

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.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images North America
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Robert Downey Jr. arrested again

Mug shot

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.

Getty Images / Getty Images North America
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Actor Robert Downey Jr., poses with his award afte

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.

Lucy Nicholson / AFP
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DOWNEY

Troubled times

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.

Nick Ut / AP
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Robert Downey Jr. Claims he Has Spent To Much Time In Prison Due To Errors In Math By The Judge

Hard time

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.

Stewart Cook / Getty Images North America
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Natural Born Killers  - 1994 - The misadventures of Mickey and Mallory: outcasts, lovers, and serial killers. They travel across Route 666 conducting psychadelic mass-slaughters not for money, not for revenge, just for kicks. Glorified by the media, the pair become legendary folk heroes; their story told by the single person they leave alive at the scene of each of their slaughters.

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.

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CHAPLIN, Robert Downey Jr. (as Charlie Chaplin), 1992, ©TriStar Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Tramp time

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.

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Actor Robert Downey Jr.

Early romance

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.

H84 / Newscom
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LESS THAN ZERO, Andrew McCarthy, Robert Downey Jr., Jami Gertz, 1987, TM and Copyright (c)20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

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."

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THE PICK-UP ARTIST, Robert Downey Jr., Molly Ringwald, 1987, TM and Copyright (c)20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

Early charmer

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.

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SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, (l-r): Nora Dunn, Danitra Vance, Randy Quaid, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Michael Hall, Terry Sweeney, Joan Cusack, Jon Lovitz, 1975-present, (c)NBC/courtesy Everett Collection

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.

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WEIRD SCIENCE, Anthony Michael Hall, Robert Rusler, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Robert Downey Jr., 1985, (c)Universal/courtesy Everett Collection

Weird stardom

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."

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