Robert Downey Jr. Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Robert Downey Jr. is an American actor and Producer born on April 4, 1965. He’s been in a lot of movies where he played the main character, and those movies have made over $14 billion all around the world! That’s a lot of money, making him one of the highest-paid actors ever.

His career has had its ups and downs. At first, he did well, but then he got into drugs and had some trouble with the law. Luckily, he got past that and started doing well again in the 2000s. Time magazine said he was one of the most influential people in the world in 2008, and Forbes said he was the highest-paid actor in Hollywood from 2013 to 2015.

Downey started acting when he was just five years old, in a movie his dad made. He was in some teen movies in the 1980s, and he even won an award for playing Charlie Chaplin in a movie. But then he had some problems with drugs and had to go to a special program to get better. After that, he got a big role on a TV show and won another award for it, but he got fired because of more problems with drugs. Since 2003, though, he’s stayed clean.

One of his big comebacks was in 2003 when he starred in a movie called The Singing Detective. He had some trouble getting that role because companies that insure actors didn’t want to work with him, but his friend Mel Gibson helped him out. After that, he was in a bunch of other successful movies, like Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes, which made him even more famous. He even won an Academy Award for one of his serious roles!

Full NameRobert Downey Jr.
Date of BirthApril 4, 1965
Place of BirthManhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
OccupationActor, Producer
Height5 ft 8 in (1.74 m)
SpouseSusan Downey (m. 2005)
Deborah Falconer (m. 1992–2004)
ChildrenIndio Falconer Downey
Exton Elias Downey
Avri Roel Downey
Net Worth$300 million

Robert Downey Jr. Early Life and Education

Robert Downey Jr. Early Life

Robert Downey Jr. was born on April 4, 1965, in Manhattan, New York City. His dad Robert Downey Sr., made movies, and his mom Elsie Ann (nee Ford) acted in his dad’s movies. His family had mixed backgrounds, with his dad being part Lithuanian Jewish, part Hungarian Jewish, and part Irish, and his mom having Scottish, German, and Swiss roots. Because of his dad’s work, Robert moved a lot when he was growing up, living in places like Woodstock, New York, London, and California.

Growing up wasn’t easy for Robert. Both his parents struggled with addiction; his dad with drugs and his mom with alcohol. Sadly, Robert’s dad introduced him to drugs at a young age, even giving him marijuana when he was just six years old and possibly cocaine when he was a kid. This caused a complicated relationship between them with drugs becoming a way they bonded.

Despite the challenges at home, Robert started acting early appearing in his dad’s movies as a kid. He made his debut at age five, playing a sick puppy in one film and later appearing in another when he was seven. He also attended a summer acting camp when he was eleven and twelve.

When Robert was twelve, his parents split up and he went to live with his mom in New York while his sister stayed with their dad in California. A few years later he moved back in with his dad and started high school in Santa Monica but he dropped out when he was 17 to focus on acting. He worked odd jobs to make ends meet while going to auditions, like waiting tables and performing at a nightclub.

Even though his journey into acting had its ups and downs, Robert kept pushing forward. He got small roles in local theater and off-Broadway productions, and 1983, he landed his first movie role, although his scenes got cut from the final film.


1983–1995: Early work and critical acclaim

Robert Downey Jr. Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In the early 1980s, Robert Downey Jr. started in theater and then transitioned to movies. He appeared in a few small plays and a short-lived musical in New York City. His big break came in 1984 when he got a role in a film called Firstborn, where he met Sarah Jessica Parker, and they started dating. The following year he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live but it didn’t go well, and he was soon replaced.

In 1985, Downey starred in two notable films, Tuff Turf and Weird Science. He also almost got a role in Pretty in Pink, but it went to someone else. He continued to act in various films throughout the 1980s, gaining recognition as part of the young actors known as the Brat Pack. He moved to Hollywood and lived with other actors like Billy Zane and Sarah Jessica Parker.

One of his most acclaimed roles came in 1987 when he played a drug-addicted rich kid in Less than Zero. This performance earned him a lot of praise but it also hit close to home because Downey struggled with drugs in real life. After filming, he went to rehab for the first time, marking the start of a long battle with addiction.

Throughout the 1990s, Downey appeared in many big-budget films alongside famous actors. He had a standout performance as Charlie Chaplin in the movie Chaplin, which earned him an Oscar nomination. He continued to act in a variety of films, showcasing his versatility as an actor.

1996–2001: Addiction-related setbacks and Ally McBeal

Between 1996 and 2001, Robert Downey Jr. got in trouble with the law several times because of drugs like cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. He went through rehab and spent time in jail and prison. He once said he felt like he was on the edge of disaster because of his drug addiction, which started when he was just a kid because his dad gave him drugs.

In 1996, actors Sean Penn and Dennis Quaid tried to help Downey by taking him to rehab but he left after a few days. Later that year he got arrested for having drugs and a gun while driving. He also wandered into a neighbor’s house when he was high but they didn’t press charges. After rehab and probation, he missed a drug test and had to spend time in jail. Even after that, he struggled with drugs and legal problems.

In 1999, while he was working on a movie, Downey started using drugs again. He was having money problems and lost his house. He got arrested again and even though he had famous lawyers, he still went to prison for three years.

After getting out of prison he joined the cast of a TV show called Ally McBeal and won awards for his acting. But he was still using drugs and didn’t care about his work.

During Thanksgiving in 2000, police found drugs in his hotel room. He was supposed to be in jail for a long time but continued acting. In 2001, he got arrested again for being high, and this time he lost his job on Ally McBeal.

Even though his acting career was doing well, his drug problems kept causing trouble. He couldn’t get insured for a movie role because of his past. Some people said he had bipolar disorder but he denied it and blamed his drug use for any mood problems.

2001–2007: Resurgence

Robert Downey Jr. Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

After struggling with drug addiction for five years, going through arrests, rehab, and relapses, Robert Downey Jr. finally decided to turn his life around and get back to his acting career. He openly talked about his past struggles on Oprah Winfrey’s show in November 2004, admitting that hitting rock bottom made him realize he needed help. After his last arrest in April 2001, he chose to seek help and stick with it, acknowledging that getting help is one thing but fully committing to recovery is another.

His first acting job after rehab was in August 2001, appearing in Elton John’s music video I Want Love. Downey’s performance was praised for its naturalness, with director Sam Taylor-Wood opting for the final take where Downey seemed most at ease.

Mel Gibson, a longtime friend of Downey’s, helped him get back into mainstream movies by supporting him for the 2003 film The Singing Detective. This act of friendship from Gibson marked the beginning of Downey’s comeback. Despite concerns about his past behavior, producer Joel Silver took a chance on Downey for the film Gothika in the mid-2000s, implementing clauses in his contracts to protect against any relapses.

Following Gothika, Robert Downey Jr. landed roles in various independent and mainstream films, earning acclaim for his performances in movies like A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Good Night, and Good Luck, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. He also explored his musical side, releasing his debut album The Futurist in 2004.

Downey dabbled in television as well, lending his voice to an episode of Family Guy and even suggesting a character idea that the producers accepted. He also planned to write a memoir with HarperCollins but later backed out in 2008.

In 2007, Downey appeared in David Fincher‘s Zodiac, portraying journalist Paul Avery. This role showcased his versatility as an actor and marked another successful step in his career resurgence.

2008–2019: Iron Man and further success

Robert Downey Jr. had been in some really good movies, but he hadn’t been in any huge hits until 2008. That year, he starred in two movies, Iron Man and Tropic Thunder, which were both popular with audiences and critics.

Ben Stiller, who wrote about Downey for The Time 100 in 2008, said that Downey is not just the superhero Iron Man, but also a talented actor. Stiller thought Downey was great in these movies and that his talent shone through, making them even better.

In Iron Man, Downey played the lead role of Tony Stark. Even though some people weren’t sure about him at first, the director, Jon Favreau, believed in him. Favreau thought Downey understood the character well and could make the movie better. Downey even worked hard to get in shape for the role.

When Iron Man came out, it was a huge hit, making over $585 million worldwide and getting lots of praise, especially for Downey’s performance. After that Downey signed on to do more Iron Man movies and also joined The Avengers.

In Tropic Thunder, Robert Downey Jr. played a funny character named Kirk Lazarus, who was a big-time actor. Downey even had to wear makeup to look like a different race for the role. Both Downey and Stiller were worried about how people would react to this but it turned out okay and the movie did well.

Downey’s success continued with other movies like Sherlock Holmes, where he played the famous detective. This movie also did well at the box office.

Robert Downey Jr. kept playing Iron Man in more Avengers movies and also starred in other films like The Judge. He even hosted a documentary series called The Age of A.I. on YouTube in 2019. Overall, Downey had a long and successful career in Hollywood, especially with his roles in superhero movies.

2020–present: Post-Marvel

Robert Downey Jr.2020–present Post Marvel

In 2020, Robert Downey Jr. was in a movie called Dolittle where he played a vet who could talk to animals. It didn’t do well at the box office and critics didn’t like it.

In 2023, Downey acted in a movie called Oppenheimer where he played a bad guy. He took less money to be in the movie because he wanted to do it. He thought it was the best movie he’s been in so far, and lots of people agreed. He won a bunch of awards for his acting in it.

He also did a TV show in 2023 where he turned some of his cars into electric cars.

In 2024, he’ll be in a show on HBO Max based on a book called The Sympathizer. And he’s going to be in a play on Broadway called McNeal starting in September. He plays a writer who’s good but has some family problems and is interested in artificial intelligence.

Other ventures


Robert Downey Jr. loves singing in his movies. You might have heard his voice in films like Chaplin, Too Much Sun, Two Girls and a Guy, Friends and Lovers, The Singing Detective, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. He even appeared in Elton John’s music video for I Want Love in 2001.

In 2004, Downey released a CD called The Futurist. And get this, when he was promoting Tropic Thunder, he and his pals Ben Stiller and Jack Black sang backup for Gladys Knight, like her own personal backup singers, The Pips, on Midnight Train to Georgia.

One of Downey’s biggest musical successes was his version of Joni Mitchell’s Christmas song River, which he sang on Ally McBeal. That show had a Christmas album, and Downey’s rendition was a hit in 2000. He sang it as his character Larry Paul in the episode Tis the Season.


Robert Downey Jr. Net Worth

On June 14, 2010, Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan started their own production company called Team Downey. Their first big project was a movie called The Judge. Then in 2024, Downey started a coffee company called Happy with Craig Dubitsky.

Net Worth

Robert Downey Jr.’s Net Worth is estimated to be $300 Million as of 2024, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Personal life

Political views

In 2008, Robert Downey Jr. talked about how being in prison changed his views a bit. He said that going from living lavishly to being in prison made him less liberal. He said it was a tough experience but taught him a lot about politics.

But in 2015, when asked about what he said earlier he kind of backed away from it. He said he doesn’t identify strongly with any political party.

Robert Downey Jr. has supported the Democratic Party. He gave money to Barack Obama’s campaign in 2012. He also went to a fundraiser for the Democrats in 2014 and gave money to help Democratic senators in 2014. In 2016, he even made a video asking people not to vote for Donald Trump. In 2020, he joined other Avengers actors to raise money for Joe Biden’s campaign and Kamala Harris, who was running for vice president.

He’s also involved with a group called the Anti-Recidivism Coalition. They try to change the justice system to help people who’ve been in prison have better lives after they get out and to make communities better.

Relationships and family

Robert Downey Relationships and family

Robert Downey Jr. has had some ups and downs in his romantic life. He started dating Sarah Jessica Parker when they were both 18, but they broke up in 1991 because he struggled with drugs.

Then, he got married to Deborah Falconer in a hurry in 1992, and they had a son together. However, their marriage suffered because of Downey’s problems with addiction and legal troubles. Eventually, they got divorced in 2004.

Later, in 2003, Robert Downey Jr. met Susan Downey while working on a movie. Susan wasn’t initially interested but they ended up falling in love. They got married in 2005 and have since had two children together.

On the friendship front, Downey has been close pals with Mel Gibson since they worked together on a movie called Air America. Downey supported Gibson during a tough time and even asked him to present him with an award in 2011, showing their strong bond.


Robert Downey Jr. has been clean from drugs since July 2003. He says his wife played a big role in helping him along with his family, therapy, meditation, and special programs for recovery. He also practices yoga and Wing Chun kung fu, a martial art he learned from Eric Oram, who also helps with fight scenes in Downey’s movies.

Oram even wrote a letter supporting Downey’s pardon for past drug offenses. Downey was pardoned by the Governor of California in 2015, which doesn’t erase his criminal record but allows him to serve on a jury. When asked how he managed to stay sober, Downey said it’s not too hard to beat such tough problems; the real challenge is deciding to do it.

Religious beliefs

Robert Downey Jr. Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Robert Downey Jr. has said he follows a mix of Jewish and Buddhist beliefs, and he’s known to have talked with astrologers. Before this, he also showed interest in Christianity and the Hare Krishna movement.


In January 2020, while promoting his movie Dolittle, Robert Downey Jr. said he was going vegan to help the environment. He felt like he was causing a lot of pollution and wanted to do something about it. He started an organization called Footprint Coalition to find ways to reduce pollution using new technology. They support companies like Ynsect, RWDC, and Cloud Paper that are eco-friendly.

In January 2024, Downey said he was now a pescetarian because he wasn’t getting enough nutrients on a vegan diet. He wrote a book called Cool Food with tips on how to eat in a way that’s better for the planet, like eating more plants and less meat.


Robert Downey Jr. Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Robert Downey Jr. has been in loads of movies, more than 70. The ones that did well at the box office are Tropic Thunder, Oppenheimer, the Sherlock Holmes movies, and the ones where he played Iron Man in the Avengers series.

His movies have made over $14 billion worldwide making him the third highest-grossing actor ever. Forbes said he was the highest-paid actor from 2013 to 2015. He’s won a bunch of awards too, like two BAFTAs, three Golden Globes, and an Oscar.