Actor Profile: Robert Downey Jr.

Written by: Jenna Moloney

With “Avengers: Infinity War,” directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, currently taking the world of cinema by storm, I thought it important to discuss the life of the “godfather” of the Avengers – Iron Man himself.

Robert Downey Jr. was born on April 4, 1965 in New York City. His father was a filmmaker and his mother was an actress. His first on-screen role was at age 5 in the movie “Pound” (1970). His parents divorced when he was 13, so he moved to Los Angeles with his father until he dropped out of high school at age 16 and moved back to New York to live with his mother. He made his earliest film appearances in movies including “Baby, It’s You” (1983) and “Firstborn” (1984). His first leading role was in the film entitled “The Pick-up Artist” (1987), where he starred alongside Molly Ringwald. However, his true “breakthrough performance” was Julian Wells in “Less Than Zero” (1987).

Throughout his 20s, Robert Downey Jr. faced a major substance addiction. He later said that he would show up on set hungover until his role in “Less Than Zero,” where the “junkie-faggot guy,” as he describes the character he played, became “like the ghost of Christmas future.” His battle with his addiction continued through the 1990s, although during this time he gained his status as one of Hollywood’s A-list actors. Downey has been arrested multiple times, once spending a full year in jail, and married three times.

Today, Downey’s net worth is somewhere around $260 million and, according to, he is one of the highest-paid actors in the industry. In 2008, he was nominated for an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild awards for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, specifically for his role in Tropic Thunder. This was also the year the first Iron Man film was released, and this character is still very popular. His most recent film is “Avengers: Infinity War,” in theatres now.

Work Cited:

“Robert Downey Jr.”, A&E Networks Television, 12 Apr. 2018,

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