Robert Downey Jr: A superstar hero in real life
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Robert Downey Jr: A superstar hero in real life

In the part 1 of our special series on the superstars of Hollywood, we talk about maverick actor Robert Downey Jr.

hollywood Updated: Jun 14, 2016 12:52 IST
Samarth Goyal
Samarth Goyal
Hindustan Times
Robert Downey Jr,Iron Man,Hollywood
We take a look at actor Robert Downey Jr. journey in the industry so far and his eccentric personality that makes him one of the biggest superstars in Hollywood right now.(REUTERS)

He many not have an Oscar under his belt, but Robert Downey Jr. still is one of the most popular actors worldwide. Born into a family of actors, Downey became an actor at the age of five in 1970, when his father cast him in his first film, the avant-garde comedy Pound.

However, the actor got heavily involved in drugs and alcohol. He found himself in prison multiple times for either being under the influence of class A narcotics or in possession of them.

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Actor Robert Downey Jr.was charged with possession of drugs and a misdemeanour count of being under the influence of a controlled substance in 2000. (Getty Images)

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Downey got back on track in 2003, and since then has been involved in films that have been massive box office hits and equally loved by critics as well. Apart from portraying Tony Stark/ Iron Man, Robert has also played the role of Sherlock Holmes in two films by director Guy Ritchie and his role of Kirk Lazarus in the cult comedy film, Tropic Thunder, got him his second Oscar nomination in the best supporting actor category.

In this image released by Disney, Iron Man, portrayed by Robert Downey Jr., appears in a scene from Captain America: Civil War. (AP)

His wisecracks, be it on post modern cliches or on himself, and his eccentric life choices, make Downey one of the biggest superstars in Hollywood. Little wonder then that every Downey fan wants to be like him.

Did You Know?

1.He dropped out of school at the age of 17 to become an actor. His initial jobs included moving tables at a restaurant and working at a shoe store.

2. He can play piano, bass, and drums. He has been playing these instruments since he was 12-years-old.

3. His nickname was Bob, and his surname was Elias, but his father changed it to Downey, a family name of his stepfather.

4. In 2004, Robert Downey Jr. released a music album titled The Futurist. He also sang the 1973 Joni Mitchell song River in the TV show Ally McBeal.

5. He was fired from the TV series Ally McBeal after two drug arrests in 2000 and 2001.


1. A lot of my peer group think I’m an eccentric bisexual, like I may even have an ammonia-filled tentacle or something somewhere on my body. That’s okay.

2. It’s a blanket statement to say, “That guy’s really sharp and amicable and nice,” because there’s a little bit of a--hole in every nice guy, and there’s a little bit of genius in every moron.

3. I know very little about acting. I’m just an incredibly gifted faker.

4. I don’t want to go all Michael Jackson on you, but I never really had a childhood.

5. I’ve always felt like such an outsider in this industry. Because I’m so insane, I guess.

6. (On the Oscars ceremony) It is amazing to see how people are literally hyperventilating when they get up there, because they have such an attachment to this outcome.

First Published: Jun 14, 2016 12:52 IST