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Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr.33 posts

Robert Downey, Jr. is an American actor born in 1965 in New York City. Coming from a showbiz family, he started acting on-screen at an early age. He gained attention for his performance in such films as Less than Zero, Natural Born Killers and Chaplin, in which he earned an Oscar nomination. He received a Golden Globe for his role in the hit television series, Ally McBeal. After suffering from substance abuse for years, he managed to redeem his career by starring in several critically-acclaimed and box-office hits including Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Sherlock Holmes, Tropic Thunder, and the Iron Man series.

24 Dec, 2015



Governor Brown gives Downey a full and unconditional pardon for his drugs conviction in 1996. Downey was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle with a prior conviction, driving under the influence and use of a controlled substance. He served one year and three months in prison, two years on parole and nearly three years on probation. Brown:

Pardons are not granted unless they are earned…[Downey has] paid his debt to society…He has lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character and conducted himself as a law-abiding citizen.

4 Aug, 2015

Highest paid actor

Other Awards

Downey claims top spot in Forbes’ annual rich actors ranking for the third time in a row with earnings of $80 million. This includes a chunk of the box office for Avengers: Age of Ultron and a reported $40 million for Captain America: Civil War.

1 May, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Film Appearance

In this action film directed by Joss Whedon, based on a book by Whedon, Downey plays Tony Stark/Iron Man, whose attempt to create a peace-keeping program goes awry, resulting in the rise of Ultron, a psychopathic computer-robot hybrid. The Avengers unite to save the planet. Co starring Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlet Johansson, Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner.

You never want to lean on things that you did knowing that it was like a back-up parachute. You don’t want to pretend there’s a back-up to that back-up parachute. And yesterday’s approach doesn’t necessarily work today. That’s what I really enjoy – that double sliding scale Spock Chess thing. How do you do it? How did you ever do it? How did you do it before, and how are you going to do it next time? I think, ultimately, it comes down to the very self-deprecating Mr. Whedon, who is more exacting on himself than he could ever be on anyone else. But he’s specific and in charge and I found him enjoying himself a bit more this time while simultaneously holding himself to a higher standard. You can’t do the same thing, only smaller, not as cool. There’s that other trap – where it’s, “Everything is bigger! Better! Do you know how many gigabytes we used in the opening sequence? How many terabytes?” Ultimately it comes down to that.

5 Nov, 2014

Avri Downey born


The Downeys welcome their first daughter, Avri Roel, in Los Angeles. Avri joins brothers, Exton Elias, 2-1/2, and Indio, 21, Downey’s son from a previous marriage.

After nine months of intensive development, Team Downey is pleased to announce our 2014 fall/winter project. Principal photography commenced 11-14 and will continue until she says, ‘Dad! You are embarrassing me… I’m 30, this has gotta stop. Yep… Avri Roel Downey joined the party @ 3:22 a.m. on November 4th… she’s 7lbs even, spans 20 inches, and is accompanied by a variety of Susan’s traits that have seemingly overwritten my ‘junk DNA.’

10 Oct, 2014

The Judge

In this comedy drama directed by David Dobkin, Downey plays Palmer a lawyer hank who returns to his childhood home where his enstraged father is suspected of murder. He sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family that he walked away from. Co-starring Robert Duvall, Vera Fermiga, Billy Bob Thornton.

This movie is entertaining and has great wit and great laughs from the beginning up until the end and in so much as that it’s a drama, I always say a drama has to be 30% comedy and a comedy has to be 30% drama — not to stick to those hard and soft rules

1 Oct, 2014

Vanity Fair cover

Magazine Cover

robert-downey-jr-vanity-fairDowney Jr. appears on the cover of the October 2014 issue of Vanity Fair magazine. He talks about his son’s drug problem and playing Iron Man.

I’ve gone from being convinced that I am the sole integer in the approbation of a phenomenon to realizing that I was the lead in the first of a series of movies that created a chain reaction that, if everything didn’t fire the way it was supposed to, there’s no operator, no anything. And you go, O.K., life is doing something here that included me but did not require me. But, yes, that role means a lot. Marvel is kind of like this sacred brotherhood.

21 Jul, 2014

Tops Forbes highest paid list again


Downey, Jr. returns from last year as the top earning actor on the Forbes list of Hollywood’s Highest Paid Actors. The 49-year old actor amassed $75 million between June 2013 and June 2014, which mostly came from his work in the Marvel film, Iron Man 3.

Earned $75 million over past year


Forbes estimates that between June 2013 and June 2014 Downey earned about $75 million, making him the highest paid actor in Hollywood for the second consecutive year. Downey stars in the Marvel movies Iron Man and Avengers, which have earned nearly $4 billion at the box office worldwide.

Others at the top of Forbes’ list of Top Earning Actors are Dwayne Johnson ($52 million), Bradley Cooper ($46 million), Leonardo DiCaprio ($39 million) and Chris Hemsworth ($37 million).

30 Jun, 2014

Indio arrest

Indio, son of Robert Downey Jr. was arrested on June 29, 2014 for cocaine possession. He was allegedly in a car with two other people when the vehicle was pulled over by police officers when they saw a pssenger smoking a pipe. Indio was found with cocaine in his possession. His is released after posting $10,000 bail. Court is scheduled for August 29.

Downey says:

There is a lot of family support and understanding, and we’re all determined to rally behind him and help him become the man he’s capable of being. We’re grateful to the Sheriff’s department for their intervention, and believe Indio can be another recovery success story instead of a cautionary tale.

3 May, 2013

Iron Man 3

Downey returns as Tony stark in Iron Man 3. He creates several Iron Man suits as a result of his trauma from the alien invasion of New York. He goes head to head with a terrorist known as “Mandarin” after his friend and security chief Happy Hogan, played by Jon Favreau, is badly injured in one of Mandarin’s attacks. The original cast is joined by Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall and Ben Kingsley.

When you have all this dough on the table, there’s a huge expectation that you have to tick all these boxes and perform at a certain level, but to me it always comes back to “Here we are, there’s the actors, there’s the camera, there’s all the props, now how can we get back to that sense of play?”

26 Apr, 2010

Iron Man 2

Downey reprises his role as Tony Stark in Iron Man 2. After going public about being Iron Man, the government pressures Stark to divulge the secrets of the superhero suit. Meanwhile, a Russian scientist Ivan Vanko, played by Mickey Rourke, plots his revenge on Stark because of a conflict their fathers had as former business partners of Stark Industries. Howard is replaced by Don Cheadle as Lt. Rhodes. Also starring Sam Rockwell, Scarlet Johansson, and Samuel L. Jackson. On working with his new castmates:

There’s kind of a certain brother and sisterhood of talent in what’s otherwise kind of a small town. Everybody knows Don, everyone’s seen the incredible work he’s been doing over the years. We were thrilled to get Scarlett and we said you’re not going to be some kind of Marvel spin-off story thing because we want a hot chick kicking ass in this movie, and I think we managed that. And with Sam, he’s just such a gifted guy that to come in … obviously it’s no secret now that he’s essentially filling the space that Tony has evacuated when he says he’s not going to make weapons anymore.

22 Jan, 2009

Oscar nomination

Downey, Jr. is nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 81st Academy Awards for portraying Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder.

I’m so grateful for Ben Stiller and I think it’s kind of wild that, you know, a comedic performance of sorts would get a nomination, it’s really cool. I got nominated for playing a narcissistic idiot method actor, we’ve come a long way, baby.

13 Aug, 2008

Tropic Thunder

Downey stars in action comedy film Tropic Thunder directed, produced and co-written by Ben Stiller. He plays multi-award winning actor Kirk Lazarus who gets cast in a huge Vietnam war film along with Tug Speedman played by Stiller, and Jeff Portnoy played by Jack Black. Their outrageous antics causes their director, played by Steve Coogan, to place them in a real jungle and film them there. On preparing for his role:

(There) were two things. One is I said at one point, I didn’t want to do this. I said at one point, “If he goes too far, it’s good,” provided Brandon (T. Jackson who plays) Alpa Chino, gets to pull up the slack and say, “Dude, you are so stereotyping yourself right now that I’m embarrassed for you and you wouldn’t last a second in my neighborhood,” type thing.

2 May, 2008

Iron Man

Downey plays the title role in Marvel superhero film Iron Man directed by Jon Favreau. His true identity is Tony Stark, an ultra-rich genius and philanthropist who owns and runs weapons maker, Stark Industries. During a weapons demo in the desert, he is ambushed by terrorists and held captive in a cave. He creates the first arc reactor-powered Iron Man suit. The film also stars Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow and Terrence Howard. On wearing the armor:

There’s two other guys and I’d come in on the day that he was shooting second unit. And he’d be like laid out in a pool of sweat and still like in half in the suit. He’d just be like (groaning), ‘Dude…’ He’d be like, ‘You’re on tomorrow, right?’ And I’d be like, ‘I’m on, dude. We’re going to do the close-ups and I’ll swing through the thing.’ He goes, ‘Cool!’ We had like a support group. He’d come in the next day, he’d be like, ‘Man, you cool? Can I get you something?’ I was like, ‘Maybe an Advil,’ and then we’d both go visit the third guy.

7 Jul, 2006

A Scanner Darkly

Downey stars in animated sci-fi thriller A Scanner Darkly, which is based on a similarly titled novel by Philip K. Dick, playing James Barris, a prank-loving drug addict who lives with protagonist Bob Arctor—played by Keanu Reeves. Set in the dystopian future, the film’s plot revolves around Arctor, an undercover police agent who investigates the onslaught of a dangerous psychoactive drug called “Substance D.” The film also stars Winona Ryder and Woody Harrelson. On his character’s creepy nature:

You’ve gotta think creepy thoughts. In A Scanner Darkly, everybody’s pretty much such a wreck that it’s that scramble to get an upper hand while you’re losing your mind.

21 Oct, 2005

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Downey stars in crime comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang directed by Shane Black. He plays Harry Lockhart, a thief from New York who accidentally pretends to be an actor. When he gets a film role, he moves to Los Angeles and trains as a private investigator under a real cop, played by Val Kilmer. The film also features Michelle Monaghan and Corbin Bernsen.

The script is great. Everyone who sees it goes, ‘God, that’s the kind of movie we want to see, where they don’t treat us like we’re stupid and we’ve kind of got to catch up but you don’t have to be an MIT graduate to get the jokes.’  The kind of movie I like to see.

27 Aug, 2005

Downey, Levin marry


Downey weds Levin in the town of Amagansett, Long Island, New York. The Jewish ceremony takes place under a custom-built gazebo with performances by Billy Joel and Sting. Some of the guests include Ellen Barkin and Keanu Reeves. Downey:

We changed each other. We both know the business really well, and ourselves and each other, and it’s a lot. And life is hard and it’s good to not do it alone.


It’s a little cliche to say this, but when you find the right person, it brings out the best in both of you.

6 Nov, 2003

Downey, Levin engaged

Downey proposes to Levin right before midnight on her birthday. He presents her with a Loree Rodkin engagement ring with diamonds and a rare African sapphire. The couple then travel to London to celebrate their engagement.

I got a ring for her birthday. It’s an engagement ring. It’s not sized right, so right now it’s on her middle finger.

On why she said yes:

More than anything, I never doubted it. There was something in my gut that knew really quickly. I knew three months in that this was it.

20 Mar, 2002

Completes rehab

Downey completes rehab after a judge is impressed with his overall progress. Downey wants to resume his film career but is due in court mid-summer, at which time it could be determined that his probation period should conclude. He is currently in a three-year, live-in rehab program as was ordered by the court in January of 2001. Downey has remained drug-free since attending the program last spring. Judge Randall White:

I’m pleased to see that you’re doing well. I hope it drug rehab continues to be of some benefit to you.

7 Oct, 1994

Only You

Downey stars in romantic comedy Only You directed by Norman Jewison. He plays Peter Wright, a shoe salesman who bumps into Faith Corvatch—played by Marisa Tomei—in Italy and pretends to be the man she believes she is destined to be with. The film also features Bonnie Hunt, Fisher Stevens and Billy Zane.

26 Aug, 1994

Natural Born Killers

Film Appearance

Downey stars in this crime film written and directed by Oliver Stone. He plays a ratings-hungry tabloid journalist named Wayne Gale, who features mass murdering couple Mickey and Mallory on his TV show. As a result, the viewing public sees the criminals as cult heroes. The film also stars Woody Harrelson ad Juliette Lewis as the killers and Tom Sizemore as the detective that pursues them. On adopting an Australian accent for this role:

I just think that the Australian phenomenon reminds me more of American as with the British invasion from the ’60s. But when I was thinking about Kirk Lazarus I was thinking about Colin Farrell, about Daniel Day Lewis and about Russell Crowe and whoever was the most effective tool for whatever my thing was, I would use.

6 Nov, 1987

Less Than Zero

Film Appearance

Downey Jr. stars as Julian, a struggling junkie, in the drama about the addictive tendencies of the youth of Los Angeles based on Brett Easton Ellis’ book. Rumors of Downey arriving on the set of Less Than Zero already high on the drugs he was meant to be acting with began to surround the film’s reputation and Downey’s. Co-starring Andrew McCarthy and James Spader.

Until that movie, I took my drugs after work and on the weekends. Maybe I’d turn up hungover on the set, but no more so than the stuntman. That changed on Less Than Zero. I was playing this junkie-faggot guy and, for me, the role was like the ghost of Christmas future. The character was an exaggeration of myself. Then things changed and, in some ways, I became an exaggeration of the character. That lasted far longer than it needed to last.

4 Apr, 1965

Robert Downey, Jr. born in New York City


RDJRobert John Downey, Jr. is born in New York City’s Greenwich Village to parents in the entertainment industry. His father, Robert Downey, Sr, is actor, filmmaker, and producer, and his mother Elise Ford,  is a singer and dancer. He has a sister named Allyson who is two years older than him. His father’s work requires the family to move a lot, and in 1977, his parents divorce. He lives with his mother in New York, while his sister stays with their dad in California. On his bohemian-influenced upbringing:

But speaking of the way I grew up, my mom and dad were actually kind of squares who found themselves entrenched in the counterculture, underground film making world. So it was all the people you would expect to be around Greenwich Village at that time, and to me, it was just really natural.

What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Robert Downey Jr., created by Newslines' contributors. Help us grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more