Robert Downey Jr: Wikis

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


(Redirected to Robert Downey, Jr. article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert Downey, Jr.

Robert Downey Jr. at an Iron Man photo call in Mexico City, April 2008
Born Robert John Downey, Jr.
April 4, 1965 (1965-04-04) (age 44)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor, producer, singer, songwriter
Years active 1970–present
Spouse(s) Deborah Falconer (1992–2004)
Susan Downey (2005–present)
Official website

Robert John Downey, Jr. (born April 4, 1965) is an American actor, film producer, and musician. Downey made his screen debut at the age of five when he appeared in one of his father's films, and has worked consistently in film and television ever since. During the 1980s, he had roles in a series of coming of age films associated with the Brat Pack. Less Than Zero (1987) is particularly notable, not only because it was the first time Downey's acting would be acknowledged by critics, but also because the role pushed Downey's already existing drug habit one step further. After Zero, Downey started landing roles in bigger films such as Air America (1990) and Soapdish (1991). These higher-profile roles eventually led to his being cast as Charlie Chaplin in the 1992 film Chaplin, for which he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

Between 1996 and 2001, Downey was frequently arrested on drug-related charges and went through several drug treatment programs, but had difficulty staying sober. After being released from the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in 2000, Downey joined the cast of the hit television series Ally McBeal, playing the new love interest of Calista Flockhart's title character. His performance was praised and he was nominated for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category and won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a mini-series or TV Film, but his character was written out when Downey was fired after two drug arrests in late 2000 and early 2001. After one last stay in a court-ordered drug treatment program, Downey finally achieved lasting sobriety and his career began to take off again. He appeared in semi-independent films such as The Singing Detective (2003), Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), and A Scanner Darkly (2006). He also had supporting roles in the mainstream films Gothika (2003) and Zodiac (2007). In 2004, Downey released his debut studio album The Futurist.

In 2007, Downey was cast as the title character in the comic book adaptation Iron Man which premiered in the spring of 2008, making almost $100 million in the United States and Canada during its opening weekend. In addition to receiving commercial success, Downey's performance in the film received rave reviews. His other 2008 films include Charlie Bartlett and the Ben Stiller-directed Tropic Thunder, in which he portrayed an Australian method actor overly engrossed in his role as an African-American soldier. He received his second Oscar nomination for said film, in the category of Best Supporting Actor, which he lost to Heath Ledger. Next he played the titular lead character in Guy Ritchie's adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, released Christmas 2009, for which Downey won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical Or Comedy for his portrayal of the famous detective.[1] He will also be returning to the role of Iron Man in the 2010 sequel, Iron Man 2.


Early life and family

Downey was born in New York City, New York, the younger of two children. His father, Robert Downey, Sr., is an actor, writer, producer, cinematographer, and director of underground films, and his mother, Elsie (née Ford), is also an actress and appeared in Downey Sr.'s films. Downey's father is of Irish and Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry and his mother is of German and Scottish descent.[2] His father was born "Robert Elias," but changed his last name to "Downey" (after his stepfather James Downey) when he was a minor and wanted to enlist in the Army.[2][3]

Downey had minor roles in his father's projects in his childhood. He made his acting debut at age five playing a sick puppy in the absurdist comedy Pound (1970), and then at age seven he appeared in the surrealist Greaser's Palace (1972).[2] At the age of 10, he was living in England and studied classical ballet as part of a larger curriculum.[4] He grew up in Greenwich Village and attended the Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in upstate New York, as a teenager. When his parents divorced in 1978, Downey moved to California with his father, but in 1982 he dropped out of Santa Monica High School and moved back to New York to pursue an acting career full time.[5]


Beginnings and critical acclaim

Downey and James Spader in Less Than Zero (1987)

In 1985, at age 20, Downey joined the cast of the weekly television comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL), but was fired in 1986 following a cast overhaul that was done in order to save the show from cancellation due to low Nielsen ratings and critics panning the show for its mediocre cast at the time.[5] Downey had his breakthrough when in 1985 he played James Spader's sidekick in Tuff Turf and then a bully in John Hughes's Weird Science. He was considered for the role of Duckie in John Hughes's film Pretty in Pink (1986),[6][7] but his first lead role would be with Molly Ringwald in The Pick-up Artist (1987). Because of these and other coming of age films Downey did during the 1980s, he is sometimes named as a member of the Brat Pack.[5][8]

In 1987, Downey played Julian Wells, a drug-addicted rich boy whose life rapidly spirals out of his control, in the film version of the Bret Easton Ellis novel Less Than Zero. His performance, described by Janet Maslin in The New York Times as "desperately moving",[9] was widely praised, though Downey has said that for him "the role was like the ghost of Christmas Future" since his drug habit resulted in him becoming an "exaggeration of the character" in real life.[10] Zero drove Downey into films with bigger budgets and names, such as Chances Are (1989) with Cybill Shepherd and Ryan O'Neal, Air America (1990) with Mel Gibson, and Soapdish (1991) with Sally Field, Kevin Kline and Whoopi Goldberg.

In 1992, he starred as Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin, a role for which he prepared extensively, learning how to play the violin and tennis. He even had a personal coach in order to imitate Chaplin's posture and way of carrying himself.[11] The role garnered Downey an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor at the Academy Awards 65th ceremony, losing to Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman.[12] His other films in the 1990s included Heart and Souls, Only You, Natural Born Killers, Restoration, Two Girls and a Guy, Black and White, Short Cuts, and The Last Party, a documentary written by Downey.

Substance abuse

Downey Jr. at the premiere of Air America, 1990

From 1996 through 2001, Downey was arrested numerous times on drug-related charges and went several times through drug treatment programs unsuccessfully, explaining in 1999 to a judge: "It's like I have a loaded gun in my mouth and my finger's on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gunmetal."[13] He also explained his relapses by claiming to be addicted to drugs since the age of eight; his father was giving them to him as he was also an addict.[14]

In April 1996, Downey was arrested for possession of heroin, cocaine and an unloaded .357-caliber Magnum handgun, while he was speeding down Sunset Boulevard. A month later, when on parole, he trespassed into a neighbor's home while under the influence of a controlled substance, falling asleep in one of the beds.[15][16] He was sentenced to three years of probation and required to undergo mandatory drug testing. In 1997 he missed one of the court-ordered drug tests and had to spend four months in the Los Angeles County jail. When Downey missed another required drug test in 1999, he was arrested once more. Despite Downey's lawyer, Peter Knecht, assembling for his client's 1999 defense the same team of lawyers that successfully defended O. J. Simpson during his criminal trial for murder,[14] Downey was sentenced to a three-year prison term at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran, California (a.k.a. "Corcoran II"). At the time of the 1999 arrest, all of Downey's film projects had wrapped and were close to release, with the exception of In Dreams, which he was allowed to complete filming. He had also been hired for voicing "The Devil" on the NBC animated television series God, the Devil and Bob, but was fired when he failed to show up for rehearsals.[17][18]

After spending nearly a year in California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran, California, Downey, on condition of posting $5,000 bail, was unexpectedly freed when a judge ruled that his collective time in incarceration facilities (spawned from the initial 1996 arrests) had qualified him for early release.[19] A week after his 2000 release, Downey joined the cast of the hit television series Ally McBeal, playing the new love interest of Calista Flockhart's title character.[20] His performance was praised and the following year he was nominated for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category and won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a mini-series or TV Film.[21][22] He also appeared as a writer and singer on Vonda Shepard's Ally McBeal: For Once in My Life album, and he sang with Sting a duet of "Every Breath You Take" in an episode of the series. Despite the apparent success, Downey claims that his performance on the series was overrated and that "It was my lowest point in terms of addictions. At that stage, I didn't give a fuck whether I ever acted again."[10] In January 2001, Downey was scheduled to play the role of Hamlet in a Los Angeles stage production directed by Mel Gibson.[23]

Before the end of his first season on Ally McBeal, Downey was arrested during Thanksgiving 2000, when his room at Merv Griffin's Hotel and Givenchy Spa in Palm Springs, California was searched by the police who were responding to an anonymous 911 call. Downey was under the influence of a controlled substance and in possession of cocaine and Valium.[24][25] Despite the fact that if convicted he could face a prison sentence of up to four years and eight months, he signed on to appear in at least eight more Ally McBeal episodes.[26] In April 2001, while he was on parole, a Los Angeles police officer found him wandering barefoot in Culver City, near southwest Los Angeles. He was arrested for suspicion of being under the influence of drugs but was released a few hours later,[27] even though tests showed he had cocaine in his system.[28] After this last arrest, producer David E. Kelley and other Ally McBeal executives ordered last-minute re-writes and re-shoots and dismissed Downey from the show, despite the fact that Downey's character had resuscitated Ally McBeal's ratings.[29] The Culver City arrest also cost him a role in the high-profile film America's Sweethearts,[28] and the subsequent incarceration forced Mel Gibson to shut down his planned stage production of Hamlet as well. In July 2001, Downey pleaded no contest to the Palm Springs charges, avoiding jail time; instead, he was sent into drug rehabilitation and put on a three-year probation, benefiting from the California Proposition 36, which had been passed the year before with the aim of helping non-violent drug offenders overcome their addictions instead of sending them to jail.[19][30]

The book Conversations with Woody Allen reports that director Woody Allen wanted to cast Downey and Winona Ryder in his film Melinda and Melinda in 2000, but was unable to do so because he could not get insurance on them, stating, "We couldn't get bonded. The completion bonding companies would not bond the picture unless we could insure them. We were heartbroken because I had worked with Winona before [on Celebrity] and thought she was perfect for this and wanted to work with her again. And I had always wanted to work with Bob Downey and always thought he was a huge talent."[31]

Career comeback

After five years of substance abuse, arrest, rehab, and relapse, Robert Downey, Jr. was finally ready to work toward a full recovery from drugs and a return to his career. In discussing his failed attempts to control his own addictive behavior in the past, Downey told Oprah Winfrey in November 2004 that "when someone says, 'I really wonder if maybe I should go to rehab?' Well, uh, you're a wreck, you just lost your job, and your wife left you. Uh, you might want to give it a shot."[32] He added that after his last arrest in April 2001, when he knew he would likely be facing another stint in prison or another form of incarceration, such as court-ordered rehab, "I finally said, 'You know what? I don't think I can continue doing this.' And I reached out for help, and I ran with it.[...]You can reach out for help in kind of a half-assed way, and you'll get it, and you won't take advantage of it. It's not that difficult to overcome these seemingly ghastly problems...what's hard is to decide to actually do it."[32]

Downey got his first post-rehab acting job in August 2001, lip-syncing in the video for the Elton John's single "I Want Love".[33] Video director Sam Taylor-Wood shot 16 takes of the video and used the last one because, according to John, Downey looked completely relaxed, and "the way he underplays it is fantastic."[34]

Downey was able to return to the big screen only after Mel Gibson, who had been a close friend to Downey since both had co-starred in Air America, paid Downey's insurance bond for the 2003 film The Singing Detective.[35] Gibson's gamble paved the way for Downey's comeback, and Downey returned to mainstream films in the mid 2000s with Gothika, for which producer Joel Silver withheld 40 percent of his salary until after production wrapped as insurance against his addictive behavior; similar clauses have become standard in his contracts since then.[36]

After Gothika, Downey was cast in a number of leading and supporting roles, including well-received work in a number of semi-independent films: A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Good Night, and Good Luck, A Scanner Darkly, and Steven Shainberg's fictional biopic of Diane Arbus, Fur, where Downey's character represented the two biggest influences on Arbus' professional life, Lisette Model and Marvin Israel.[37] Downey also received great notice for his roles in more mainstream fare such as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Disney's poorly received The Shaggy Dog, and David Fincher's 2007 take on one of the most famous unsolved serial killing cases ever, Zodiac.

On November 23, 2004, Downey released his debut musical album, The Futurist, on Sony Classical, for which he designed the cover art[38] and designed the track listing label on the CD with his son Indio.[39] The album received mixed reviews,[40][41] but Downey stated in 2006 that he probably will not do another album as he felt that the energy he put on doing the album was not compensated.[42]

In 2006, Downey returned to his television roots when he guest-starred on Family Guy in the episode "The Fat Guy Strangler". Downey had previously telephoned the show's production staff and asked if he could produce or assist in an episode creation, as his son is a fan of the show. The producers of the show accepted the offer and created the character of Patrick Pewterschmidt, Lois Griffin's long lost, mentally disturbed brother, for Downey.[43]

Downey signed on with publishers HarperCollins to write a memoir, which in 2006 was already being billed as a "candid look at the highs and lows of his life and career". In 2008, however, Downey returned his advance to the publishers and cancelled the book without further comment.[44]

Iron Man and beyond

With all of the critical success Robert Downey, Jr. had experienced throughout his career, he had never appeared in a "blockbuster" film. All of that would change in the summer of 2008, when Downey starred in two critically and commercially successful films, Iron Man and Tropic Thunder. In the article Ben Stiller wrote for Downey's entry in the 2008 edition of The Time 100, he offered an observation on Downey's commercially successful summer at the box office:

Yes, Downey is Iron Man, but he really is Actor Man.[...]In the realm where box office is irrelevant and talent is king, the realm that actually means something, he has always ruled, and finally this summer he gets to have his cake and let us eat him up all the way to the multiplex, where his mastery is in full effect.
—-- Ben Stiller, The 2008 Time 100, entry #60, "Robert Downey Jr."[45]

Iron Man

In 2007, Downey was cast as the title character in the film Iron Man,[46] with director Jon Favreau explaining the choice by stating: "Downey, Jr., wasn't the most obvious choice but he understood what makes the character tick. He found a lot of his own life experience in 'Tony Stark'."[47] Favreau insisted in having Downey as he repeatedly claimed that Downey would be to Iron Man what Johnny Depp is to the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, a lead actor that could both elevate the quality of the film and increase the public's interest in it.[15][48][49][50] For the role Downey had to gain more than 20 pounds of muscle in five months so as to look like he "had the power to forge iron."[51]

Iron Man was globally released between April 30 and May 3, 2008, grossing over $300 million in the United States and Canada[52] and receiving rave reviews which cite Downey's performance as a highlight of the film.[53][54] As a result, both Downey and Favreau stated their interest in making Iron Man a trilogy.[55] By October 2008, Downey had agreed to appear as Iron Man in two Iron Man sequels and the future film starring the Avengers, the superhero team that Stark joins.[56] He also made a small appearance as Iron Man's alter ego Tony Stark in the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk, as a part of Marvel Studios' attempt to depict the same Marvel Universe on film by providing continuity among the movies.[57]

Tropic Thunder

After Iron Man, Downey appeared alongside Ben Stiller and Jack Black in another 2008 summer film, the Stiller-directed Tropic Thunder. Each man plays a Hollywood archetype—self-absorbed multi-Oscar winning Aussie method actor Kirk Lazarus (Downey), aging action hero desperately looking to reinvent himself as a serious actor (Stiller), and overweight heroin-addicted self-destructive comic best known for portraying multiple characters in a franchise of comedies about a family that farts in every film (Black)—as they star in an extremely expensive Vietnam-era movie called Tropic Thunder. Lazarus undergoes a "controversial skin pigmentation procedure" in order to take on the role of African-American platoon sergeant Lincoln Osiris, which required Downey to wear dark makeup and a wig. Both Stiller and Downey feared Downey's portrayal of the character could become controversial:

Stiller says that he and Downey always stayed focused on the fact that they were skewering insufferable actors, not African-Americans. 'I was trying to push it as far as you can within reality,' Stiller explains. 'I had no idea how people would respond to it.' Stiller screened a rough cut of the film [in March 2008] and it scored high with African-Americans. He was relieved at the reaction. 'It seems people really embrace it,' he says.
Entertainment Weekly- First Look: 'Tropic Thunder' [58]

When asked by Harry Smith on CBS's The Early Show who his model was for Lazarus, Downey laughed before responding, "Sadly, my sorry-ass self."[59]

Released in the United States on August 13, 2008, Tropic Thunder received generally good reviews with 83% of reviews positive and an average normalized score of 71%, according to the review aggregator websites Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, respectively. It earned $26 million in its North American opening weekend and retained the number one position for its first three weekends of release. The film grossed $180 million in theaters before its release on home video on November 18, 2008. Downey was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal as Lazarus, but lost to Heath Ledger for his portrayal as the Joker in The Dark Knight.

Post-Iron Man career

Opening in late April 2009 was a film Downey finished in mid-2008, The Soloist; the film was pushed out from a November 2008 release by Paramount Pictures due to the studio's tight end-of-year release schedule.[60] Critics who had seen the movie in 2008 were mentioning it as a possible Academy Award candidate.[61][62] Downey still picked up an Academy Award nomination for the 2008 release year for his role in Tropic Thunder[63], but did not gain similar recognition for The Soloist after its delayed release.

The first role Downey accepted after Iron Man was the lead in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes. Warner Bros. released on December 25, 2009.[64] The film set several box office records in the United States for a Christmas Day release, beating the previous record holder, 2008's Marley & Me, by nearly $10M, and finished second only to Avatar in a record-setting Christmas weekend release at the movies. Sherlock Holmes ended up being the 10th highest grossing film of 2009.[65][66] When Downey won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for his role as Sherlock Holmes, he noted in his acceptance speech that he had prepared no remarks because "my wife (Sherlock Holmes producer Susan Downey) told me at 10:00 this morning that Matt Damon (nominated for his role in The Informant!) was going to win."

Music career

Robert Downey, Jr.'s passion for singing has become known, as he has sung on several soundtracks in his films such as Too Much Sun, Two Girls and a Guy, Friends and Lovers, The Singing Detective and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. He released a CD in 2005 called The Futurist, and while promoting his film Tropic Thunder, he and his co-stars Ben Stiller and Jack Black were back up singers "The Pips" to Gladys Knight singing "Midnight Train to Georgia".

Awards and recognition

In 1992, Downey became the first cast member of Saturday Night Live to be nominated for a Best Actor Oscar, which he garnered for 1992's Chaplin. Though he lost the award to Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman, he won the BAFTA (the awards given by the British Academy for Film and Television Arts, the U.K. equivalent of the Oscars) for Best Actor for Chaplin, in Chaplin's own home country.

In 1993, Downey won a Saturn Award for Best Male Actor (Film) for Heart and Souls, an early sign of fan recognition of his talent leading to guild-level awards.

Downey's 1993 film Short Cuts, an ensemble piece directed by legendary filmmaker Robert Altman, received two "Best Ensemble Cast" awards, one from the Venice Film Festival,[67] and the other from the 1993 Golden Globes.

As of 2010, Downey has three Golden Globe Awards to his name: A "Best Ensemble Cast" Globe for 1993's Short Cuts, and a "Best Supporting Actor - Television" Globe for his 2000 turn in Ally McBeal. In 2010, Downey won a Golden Globe for his role in Sherlock Holmes.

The Screen Actors Guild also recognized his 2000 Ally McBeal performance by giving him the Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series award.

In 2003, shortly after Downey returned to the acting world clean and sober, he received a Career Achievement Award from the Chicago International Film Festival.[67]

In 2004, Downey was named "Man of the Year" by Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals.[68]

The 2006 large ensemble piece A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, a film Downey co-produced, received a special jury prize for Dramatic film from the Sundance Film Festival.[67]

In May 2008, Downey was named to the annual list of The Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People.[45]

In October 2008, Paramount Pictures began advertising for Downey to receive an Academy Awards nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Tropic Thunder.[69] In a November 2008 issue of Entertainment Weekly, Downey's performance as self-important Australian method actor Kirk Lazarus was considered one of three sure contenders for the best supporting actor award.[70] As a way of extending the film-within-a-film "universe" into real life, there have also been at least two online "For Your Consideration" ads touting Downey's character, Kirk Lazarus, for Best Supporting Actor; one of these contains "scenes" from the faux trailer for Satan's Alley that were not in the trailer as released in theaters. has verified that at least one of these ads was definitely produced by Paramount and intended for early FYC awareness for Downey's role.[71][72]

In October 2008, Downey was ranked at #4 on online magazine's 49 Most Influential Men in 2008.[73]

In November 2008, Downey was named by Entertainment Weekly as "Entertainer of the Year".[74]

Since the opening of the 2008 film critics' award ceremonies in early December 2008, Downey was repeatedly nominated for Best Supporting Actor awards for his portrayal of Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder on the various film critics' award lists; on December 11, 2008, Downey picked up a nomination for one of the more significant awards, receiving a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor in Tropic Thunder.[75] Downey picked up his first win of the 2008 award season as part of the Boston Society of Film Critics' Best Ensemble Cast for Tropic Thunder.[76] ShoWest Convention has saluted him as "Actor of the Year". On January 22, 2009, Downey was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Tropic Thunder, which he ultimately lost to Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.

On 2009 Downey was nominated for three award for Favorite Male Movie Star, Favorite Superhero and Favorite Male Action Star at People's Choice Awards.

On February 15, 2009, Downey won best international actor for Iron Man at the Irish Film and Television Awards, his second win for the 2008 awards season.

In November 2009, Downey was number 5 in People Magazine's "The Sexiest Man Alive 2009".

On January 17, 2010, Downey won the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical for his role in Sherlock Holmes. However, he failed to earn an Academy Award nomination for the same performance.

Personal life

Downey started dating actress Sarah Jessica Parker after meeting on the set of Firstborn. They separated in 1991, according to Downey, because of his drug and alcohol abuse.[77] Downey also dated Marisa Tomei in the late 1980s, with whom he appeared in Only You and Chaplin. He married actress/singer Deborah Falconer on May 29, 1992 after a 42-day courtship,[78] and had a son with her named Indio Falconer Downey, born on September 7, 1993 in Los Angeles County, California. The strain on their marriage from Downey's repeated trips to rehab and jail finally reached a breaking point; in the midst of Downey's last arrest where he was sentenced to an extended stay in rehab, Falconer left Downey in 2001 and took Indio with her.[78] Downey and Falconer finalized their divorce on April 26, 2004.

Under the guidance of both of his parents, Indio Falconer Downey began developing his own show business career before he had even reached his teens. His first professional work was an appearance in one of his father's movies, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, playing a younger version of his father's character Harry Lockhart.[79] Following his mother's musical lead, Indio has branched out into a musical career as lead guitarist for a rock band, The Jack Bambis,[80] whose members are all under the age of 18.[81] Downey now sees his son frequently after settling custody arrangements with Falconer, and the pair are often photographed together at public appearances for each of their careers.[78]

In 2003, while on the set of Gothika, Downey met producer Susan Levin, an Executive Vice President of Production at Joel Silver's movie company, Silver Pictures.[35] Downey and Susan quietly struck up a romance during production, though Susan turned down his romantic advances twice.[82] Despite Susan's worries that the romance would not last after the completion of shooting because "he's an actor; I have a real job",[82] the couple's relationship continued after production wrapped on Gothika, and Downey proposed to Susan on the night before her thirtieth birthday.[82] The couple was married on August 27, 2005 in a Jewish ceremony at Amagansett, New York.[83][84]

Downey says he has been drug-free since July 2003,[85] thanks to the help of his family, therapy, meditation, twelve-step recovery programs, yoga and the practice of Wing Chun Kung Fu.[10] He has described his religious beliefs as "Jewish-Buddhist," although he has been interested in the past by Christianity and the Hare Krishna ideology.[86] Rachel McAdams, who co-starred with Downey in Sherlock Holmes, referred to him as a "superhero" for his "committed" work ethic during a 2009 panel discussion.[87] On the same panel, Downey described how he worked long hours and many weekends to ensure his accuracy in portraying Holmes so as to help make the film a success.[87]

Downey has been a close friend of Mel Gibson since they starred in Air America. Downey defended the actor/director during the controversy surrounding The Passion of the Christ, and argued that "nobody's perfect" regarding Gibson's DUI.[88] Said Gibson of Downey:[89]

He was one of the first people to call and offer the hand of friendship. He just said, ‘Hey, welcome to the club. Let's go see what we can do to work on ourselves.’

Downey has indicated that his time in prison has changed his political point of view somewhat, saying: “I have a really interesting political point of view, and it’s not always something I say too loud at dinner tables here, but you can’t go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal. You can’t. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone else, but it was very, very, very educational for me and has informed my proclivities and politics ever since.”[90] In a 2007 interview with W magazine Downey showed the journalist a photograph of himself and his wife with President George W. Bush.[89]



Year Film Role Notes
1970 Pound Puppy Directed by Robert Downey, Sr.
1972 Greaser's Palace uncredited Directed by Robert Downey, Sr.
1975 Moment to Moment uncredited Directed by Robert Downey, Sr.
1980 Up the Academy Caleb Yoon Directed by Robert Downey, Sr.
1983 Baby It's You Stewart
1984 Firstborn Lee
1985 Deadwait short subject
Tuff Turf Jimmy Parker
Weird Science Ian
1986 Back to School Derek Lutz
America Paulie Hackley Directed by Robert Downey, Sr.
1987 The Pick-up Artist Jack Jericho
Less Than Zero Julian Wells
1988 Johnny Be Good Leo Wiggins also stars Robert Downey, Sr.
Rented Lips Wolf Dangler Directed by Robert Downey, Sr.
1969 Ralph Carr
1989 That's Adequate Albert Einstein
True Believer Roger Baron
Chances Are Alex Finch
1990 Air America Billy Covington
1991 Too Much Sun Reed Richmond Directed by Robert Downey, Sr.
Soapdish David Seton Barnes
1992 Chaplin Charlie Chaplin BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
1993 Luck, Trust & Ketchup: Robert Altman in Carver Country documentary
Heart and Souls Thomas Reilly Saturn Award for Best Actor
The Last Party Himself documentary written by Downey
Short Cuts Bill Bush Golden Globe for Best Ensemble Cast
Volpi Cup
1994 Hail Caesar Jerry also stars Robert Downey, Sr.
A Century of Cinema documentary
Natural Born Killers Wayne Gale
Only You Peter Wright, alias Damon
1995 Richard III Earl Rivers
Home for the Holidays Tommy Larson
Restoration Robert Merivel
1997 Danger Zone Jim Scott
One Night Stand Charlie Boston Society of Film Critics Award for (3rd place) Best Supporting Actor
Two Girls and a Guy Blake Allen
Hugo Pool Franz Mazur Directed by Robert Downey, Sr.
1998 The Gingerbread Man Clyde Pell
U.S. Marshals Special Agent John Royce
1999 In Dreams Vivian Thompson
Friends & Lovers Hans
Bowfinger Jerry Renfro
Black and White Terry Donager
2000 Wonder Boys Terry Crabtree Male Screen Idol Award
Auto Motives Rob short subject
2002 Lethargy Animal therapist short subject
2003 Whatever We Do Bobby short subject
The Singing Detective Dan Dark Festival de Cine de Sitges Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin Himself documentary
Gothika Pete Graham Produced by Susan Downey
2004 Eros Nick Penrose segment "Equilibrium"
2005 Game 6 Steven Schwimmer
The Outsider documentary
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Harry Lockhart Produced by Susan Downey
Cameo by Indio Falconer Downey
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Original Song
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor
Good Night, and Good Luck. Joseph Wershba Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Nominated — Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated — WFCA Award for Best Cast
Hubert Selby Jr: It/ll Be Better Tomorrow documentary
2006 The Shaggy Dog Dr. Kozak
A Scanner Darkly James Barris Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actor
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints Dito Montiel co-produced by Downey
Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize - Dramatic
Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus Lionel Sweeney
2007 Zodiac Paul Avery
Lucky You Telephone Jack Cameo
2008 Charlie Bartlett Principal Nathan Gardner
Iron Man Tony Stark/Iron Man Saturn Award for Best Actor
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Actor of the Year also for Tropic Thunder
Irish Film & Television Award for Best International Actor
Nominated — Empire Award for Best Actor
Nominated — National Movie Award for Best Actor
Nominated — People's Choice Award for Favorite Superhero
Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor: Action Adventure
The Incredible Hulk Tony Stark cameo
Tropic Thunder Kirk Lazarus Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Actor of the Year also for Iron Man
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture
2009 The Soloist Steve Lopez
Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes Produced by Susan Downey
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor
2010 Iron Man 2 Tony Stark/Iron Man post-production
Executive Producer Susan Downey
Due Date Peter Jensen Completed


Year Title Role Notes
1985–1986 Saturday Night Live member, Not Ready for Prime Time Players 18 episodes
1995 Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree Mr. Willowby television film
2000–2002 Ally McBeal Larry Paul 15 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy
Nominated – American Comedy Award
Nominated – Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Nominated – TV Guide Award for Best Supporting Actor
2005 Family Guy Patrick Pewterschmidt voice, episode "The Fat Guy Strangler"


  1. ^ "HFPA - Nominations and Winners". 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
  2. ^ a b c Diamond, Jamie. (1992-12-20). "FILM; Robert Downey Jr. Is Chaplin (on Screen) and a Child (Off)". New York Times. 
  3. ^ "Rosemary Rogers, Robert Downey". New York Times. 1998-05-10. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  4. ^ "ROBERT DOWNEY JR - DOWNEY JR WAS A BALLET STUDENT". Contactmusic. 2005-05-22. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  5. ^ a b c "CNN People In The News - Profile of Robert Downey Jr.". CNN. 2002-08-17. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  6. ^ Manning, Jason (2000). "13. The Brat Pack". Material Things. The Eighties Club. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  7. ^ Pretty in Pink, (1986), John Hughes, notes from: Special feature "Zoids and Richies". Paramount Home Entertainment,B00006JY0R, (2002).
  8. ^ Germain, David (2005-10-23). "Downey riding high on the comeback trail". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  9. ^ Maslin, Janet (1987-11-06). "Film: 'Less Than Zero,' Young Lives". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  10. ^ a b c Wilde, Jon (2003-11-08). "More than skin deep". The Guardian.,6737,1080388,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  11. ^ Hornaday, Anne (1993-04-11). "FILM; Once Again The Clowning Gets Physical". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  12. ^ Travers, Peter (2008-03-13). "The Strange Case of Iron Man Robert Downey Jr.". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  13. ^ Reaves, Jessica (2001-02-07). "Will Robert Downey Jr.'s Case Spark a Change in Drug Sentencing?". Time.,8599,98373,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  14. ^ a b "Addicted Downey Jnr jailed". BBC News. 1999-08-06. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  15. ^ a b Carr, David (2008-04-20). "Been Up, Been Down. Now? Super.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  16. ^ Winters Keegan, Rebecca (2008-04-16). "Robert Downey Jr.: Back from the Brink". Time.,8599,1731600-2,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  17. ^ Ault, Susanne (1999-08-06). "Downey gets 3 yr. prison term for parole violations". Variety. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  18. ^ "Downey Jr back in jail". BBC News. 1999-07-23. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  19. ^ a b "Actor's toughest role". CNN. 2004. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  20. ^ "Downey Jr lands McBeal role". BBC News. 2000-08-11. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  21. ^ "Bada Bing! Sopranos Leads Emmy Pack". Fox News. 2001-07-12.,2933,29375,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  22. ^ "Downey Jr's Golden acting career". BBC News. 2001-01-22. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  23. ^ "Gibson Downey Jr becomes Hamlet". BBC News. 2000-09-21. 
  24. ^ Baron, James (2001-07-17). "Boldface Names". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  25. ^ Angluo, Sandra P. (2001-04-24). "Arrested Development". Entertainment Weekly.,,107593,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  26. ^ "Downey Jr signs McBeal deal". BBC News. 2001-02-15. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  27. ^ "Robert Downey Jr. Fired From Ally McBeal After Another Arrest". Associated Press. Fox News. 2001-04-25.,2933,15876,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  28. ^ a b Reuters (2001-05-31). "Robert Downey Jr.'s Drug 'Deal'". Wired. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  29. ^ Carter, Bill (2002-04-18). "This Season to Be Last for 'Ally McBeal'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  30. ^ "Robert Downey Jr. to Enter Plea Agreement on Drug Charges". CNN. 2001-07-16. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  31. ^ "When Woody Allen couldn't cast Winona, Downey due to lack of insurance". Malaysian Sun. 2007-08-12. 
  32. ^ a b The Oprah Winfrey Show, second segment, November 22, 2004. Retrieved December 11, 2008.
  33. ^ Schumacher-Rasmussen, Eric (2001-08-03). "Elton John Casts Robert Downey Jr. In His New Video". MTV News. Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  34. ^ Rankin, Rebecca. "Elton John: California Love (Interview)". MTV News. Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  35. ^ a b Friedman, Roger (2003-10-14]]). "Mel Gibson's New 'Passion' Is Robert Downey Jr.". Fox News.,2933,99680,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  36. ^ "Robert Downey Jr.". Shootout. AMC. 2006-07-14.
  37. ^ Frey, Jennifer (2006-11-12). "A 'Fur'-Fetched Portrait Of Arbus? Precisely! Says the Filmmaker". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  38. ^ Stated in interview on Inside the Actors Studio, 2006
  39. ^ As listed in the credits on the CD version of The Futurist.
  40. ^ Pensiero, Nicole (2004-12-09). "Robert Downey Jr. The Futurist". The Heights. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  41. ^ Collar, Matt. "The Futurist: Critic's Review". MSN Music. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  42. ^ Horkins, Tony (2006-03-26). "This Much I Know: Robert Downey Jr". The Observer. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  43. ^ Sheridan, Chris. (2005). Family Guy season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "The Fat Guy Strangler". [DVD]. 20th Century Fox. 
  44. ^ Italie, Hillel (2008-07-21). "AP Exclusive: Robert Downey Jr. postpones memoir". Yahoo! News via AP. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  45. ^ a b Stiller, Ben (2008-05-11). "The 2008 Time 100, entry #60, 'Robert Downey Jr.'". Time Magazine.,28804,1733748_1733752_1734629,00.html. Retrieved 2009-04-17. 
  46. ^ "Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man". Marvel News. 2006-09-29. Retrieved 2006-09-29. 
  47. ^ O'Loughlin, Lucy (2008-05-02). "Robert Downey Jr.'s heroic comeback". Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  48. ^ Anderson, John (2008-04-16). "Jon Favreau rose from obscurity to direct ‘Iron Man’". Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  49. ^ Hartlaub, Peter (2008-05-05). "Indie cred gave 'Iron Man' filmmaker his shot". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  50. ^ Anderson, John (2008-05-01). "Nerve Of Steel". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  51. ^ Masuda, Sylvia (2008-05-02). "Robert Downey Jr. has reforged his career in 'Iron Man'". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  52. ^ White, Michael (2009-05-01). "Harry Potter, Captain Kirk Chase Joker for Box-Office Record". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  53. ^ Hornaday, Ann (2008-05-02). "'Iron Man' Shows Strength of Character". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  54. ^ Ansen, David (2008-05-01). "Putting the Irony in ‘Iron Man’". Newsweek. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  55. ^ Quint (2007-02-09). "Quint visits the IRON MAN production offices! Art! Favreau speaks about sequels (?!?), casting and more!!!". AICN. Retrieved 2007-02-10. 
  56. ^ Marc Graser. "Downey Jr. extends Marvel deal, Actor to star in 'Avengers,' 'Iron Man 3'". Variety. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  57. ^ Larry Carroll. "William Hurt Says New Hulk Is More Heroic, Reveals Iron Man Crossover Scene". MTV News. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  58. ^ Adam B. Vary (2008-03-05). "First Look: 'Tropic Thunder'". Entertainment Weekly.,,20182058,00.html. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  59. ^ ""Robert Downey Jr. on 'Thunder'"". CBS. 2008-08-18. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  60. ^ "The Soloist Delayed Until March 2009". Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
  61. ^ Chris Tilly (2008-06-02). "Jamie Foxx is The Soloist". Time Out. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  62. ^ Sasha Stone (2008-06-14). "Oscar watching The Soloist". Awards Daily. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  63. ^ Todd Leopold (2009-01-22). "'Button' hooks 13 Oscar nominations". CNN. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  64. ^ Jacques Steinberg (2008-06-11). "Robert Downey Jr. to Play Sherlock Holmes'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  65. ^ Smith, Grady (December 27, 2009.). "Avatar, Sherlock Lead The Largest Weekend In Film History! Top 12 Earned $275 Million!". The Box Office Junkie. Retrieved 2010-01-31. "The Top 12 grossed an astonishing $264 million over the weekend frame- the largest weekend in film history" 
  66. ^ "December 25-27, 2009 – Weekend Studio Estimates". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  67. ^ a b c Robert Downey Jr. inside Variety -- Awards List. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
  68. ^ Rabinowitz, Nancy (2004-02-19). "Robert Downey Jr. Gets Hasty Pudding Pot". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  69. ^ Cieply, Michael; Brooks Barnes (October 28, 2008). "Studios Are Pushing Box Office Winners as Oscar Contenders". The New York Times. Retrieved October 29, 2008. 
  70. ^ Karger, Dave (November 7, 2008). "The Oscar Race". Entertainment Weekly (1019): 67.,,20237202,00.html. Retrieved November 2, 2008. 
  71. ^ For Your Consideration: Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder. Retrieved December 10, 2008.
  72. ^ Paramount's early-release "For Your Consideration" ad for Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
  73. ^ Presents the 49 Most Influential Men in 2008. Retrieved 2009-1-17.
  74. ^ Benjamin Svetkey (2008-11-14). "The 25 Entertainers of the Year". Entertainment Weekly.,,20152943_20153287_20239984_24,00.html. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  75. ^ Hollywood Foreign Press Association (2008-12-11). "HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION 2008 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS NOMINATIONS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2008". Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  76. ^ Verniere, James (December 15, 2008). "‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘WALL*E’ win Boston critics Best Picture award". Boston Herald.*E__wins_Boston_critics_Best_Picture_award/srvc=home&position=2. Retrieved December 15, 2008. 
  77. ^ "Drugs ruined my relationships, Downey says". 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  78. ^ a b c "Robert Downey Jr." episode of Biography, 2007; viewed 2008-08-29.
  79. ^ page for Indio Falconer Downey, accessed 3/21/2009.
  80. ^ "Robert Downey Jr. and Indio Downey".,,1627860_1376695,00.html. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  81. ^ MySpace page for The Jack Bambis, accessed 3/21/2009.
  82. ^ a b c The Oprah Winfrey Show, third segment, November 22, 2004. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
  83. ^ Hall, Katy (2005-08-29). "Robert Downey Jr. Marries Girlfriend". People.,,1098017,00.html. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  84. ^ Stevens, Honie (2008-08-17). "No joke: actors saved by love".,22049,24191509-5006013,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  85. ^ "With 'Iron Man,' Robert Downey Jr. Winks at his Past and Looks to Transcend it". New York Times. 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  86. ^ De Vries, Hilary (2004-11-21). "Robert Downey Jr.: The Album". The New York Times. 
  87. ^ a b "Sherlock Holmes" panel (2 of 2) - Comic-Con 2009. July 24, 2009. San Diego Comic-Con International 2009.
  88. ^ Robert Downey Jr. Stands by Mel Gibson February 7, 2007
  89. ^ a b Kevin West (March 2007), Robert Downey Jr.? Call Him Mister Clean, W magazine,, retrieved 2009-02-19 
  90. ^

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Robert Downey Jr. article)

From Wikiquote

Robert John Downey Jr (born April 4, 1965) is an Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning American actor and musician. He became known during the late 1980s and early 1990s after a series of well-reviewed performances in Hollywood films. During a period of drug addiction in the late 1990s, Downey, Jr. continued his acting career, appearing on the television series Ally McBeal. More recent films include a number of supporting and lead roles, in Good Night and Good Luck, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Zodiac, and Iron Man.


  • On his substance abuse relapse "It's like I have a loaded gun in my mouth and my finger's on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gunmetal"
  • "I know very little about acting. I'm just an incredibly gifted faker."
  • "I've always been a fella who put most of my eggs in one basket and then take a dump in the basket"
  • "I've always just shown up and tried to figure out what's for lunch and am I going to get to play some racquetball that night"
  • " even bad years are pretty good years I think"
  • “A lot of my peer group think I'm an eccentric bisexual, like I may even have an ammonia-filled tentacle somewhere on my body. That's okay.”
  • “It was so nice to go into this fake courtroom [on Ally McBeal]. I immediately went up into the judge's chair. Nice view. A preferable perspective.”
  • “I could deal with this [Pokemon] if I smoked a couple of grams of blacktar heroin.
  • "I don't think I'm allowed to have a gun anymore. They took it. I think I deserve to have it back when my probation is over. It's not like I did anything with the gun except pretend that I was skilled in its use."
  • "I wasn't worried about whether I was going to go insane, I was very well aware that I was insane."
  • "Violent ground-acquisition games such as football are in fact a crypto-fascist metaphor for nuclear war."
  • "I've always been a pretty outspoken guy, and just like other aspects of my character, I've had no choice but to be candid sooner or later, all is known anyway."

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address