1. His 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. He starred as title character in the 1992 film Chaplin, which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor and won him the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
3. His character was written out when Downey was fired after two drug arrests in late 2000 and early 2001.
4. After one last stay in a court-ordered drug treatment program, Downey finally achieved sobriety.
5. Beginning in 2008, Downey began portraying 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.
6. Each of these films has grossed over $500 million at the box office worldwide; four of these—The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3 and Captain America: Civil War —earned over $1 billion.
7. Downey was born in Manhattan, New York, the younger of two children.
8. 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.”
9. Eventually, Downey began spending every night abusing alcohol and “making a thousand phone calls in pursuit of drugs”.