1. Robert John Downey Jr. is an American actor whose career has included critical and popular success in his youth, followed by a period of substance abuse and legal troubles, and a resurgence of commercial success in middle age.
2. Other films he has starred in include the action comedy Air America .
3. He starred as Charlie Chaplin, the title character in the 1992 film Chaplin, which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
4. His performance was praised and he received a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries, or Television Film.
5. His character was written out when Downey was fired after two drug arrests in late 2000 and early 2001.
6. After one last stay in a court-ordered drug treatment program, Downey finally achieved sobriety.
7. His more recent films include the musical comedy crime film The Singing Detective , for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
8. Beginning in 2008, Downey has portrayed the role of Marvel Comics superhero Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing in several films as either the lead role, member of an ensemble cast, or in a cameo.
9. Downey has starred in several movies that have each grossed over $500 million at the box office worldwide.
10. Downey was born in Manhattan, New York, the younger of two children.
11. His father, a drug addict, allowed Downey to use marijuana at age six, an incident which his father has said he now regrets. Downey later stated that drug use became an emotional bond between him and his father: “When my dad and I would do drugs together, it was like him trying to express his love for me in the only way he knew how.”
12. Eventually, Downey began spending every night abusing alcohol and “making a thousand phone calls in pursuit of drugs”.