Robert Downey, Jr.


Born: 4 April 1965
Birthplace: New York, New York
Best known as:

Star of the movie Iron Man

Robert Downey, Jr. had a summertime blockbuster hit as superhero Tony Stark in the movie Iron Man (2008), capping two decades of films and overcoming a reputation as one of Hollywood's rambunctious bad boys. The son of renegade filmmaker Robert Downey (1971's Putney Swope), Junior became a young star in the 1980s in films such as Less Than Zero (1987) and Chances Are (1989), and at the age of 27 he was nominated for an Oscar for his star performance as Charlie Chaplin in Richard Attenborough's 1992 film Chaplin. Throughout the 1990s he made headlines of a different sort, piling up arrests for offenses related to drugs and alcohol and ultimately spending time in jail. Out of jail in 2000, he returned to the small screen on TV's Ally McBeal, ( starring Calista Flockhart), only to get arrested twice more by the end of 2001. He then bounced back again, appearing in smaller films such as Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005), George Clooney's Edward R. Murrow biopic Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), the animated A Scanner Darkly (2006, based on the novel by Philip K. Dick) and Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006, starring Nicole Kidman). His turn as Iron Man was followed by the Ben Stiller comedy Tropic Thunder (2008), in which Downey plays an actor who has undergone surgery to make him appear African-American.

Extra credit:

Downey was a cast member of TV's Saturday Night Live during the 1985-86 season... Downey married producer Susan Levin in August of 2005. It was his second marriage. He married actress Deborah Falconer in 1992; they separated in 1996 and were officially divorced in 2004.

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