Robert John Downey Jr. (born April 4, 1965) is an American actor, producer and singer. His career has been characterized by critical and popular notoriety in his youth, followed by a period of substance abuse and legal troubles, before a resumption of critical repute and resurgence of commercial success in middle age. In 2008, Downey was named by Time magazine among the 100 most influential people in the world, and from 2013 to 2015, he was listed by Forbes as Hollywood's single highest-paid actor. His films have grossed over $5.8 billion in North America and $14.4 billion internationally, making him the second-highest-grossing box-office actor to date both domestically and worldwide.
At the age of five, he made his acting debut in Robert Downey Sr.'s film Pound in 1970. His subsequent films, until the end of the 80s, brought him in association with the group of actors called the Brat Pack, to include the teen sci-fi comedy Weird Science and the drama Less Than Zero. In 1992, Downey secured a height of critical regard when he took on the title character in the film Chaplin, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor and won the equivalent category at the BAFTA Awards. Following a stint at the Corcoran Substance Abuse Treatment Facility sentenced on drug charges, he joined the eminent TV series Ally McBeal. Playing the love interest of Calista Flockhart, he won a Golden Globe Award; however in the wake of two drug charges, one in late 2000 and one in early 2001, he was fired and his character terminated. He stayed in a court-ordered drug treatment program shortly after and has maintained his sobriety since 2003.
Initially, bond completion companies would not insure Downey for roles in feature films. Mel Gibson, who had been a close friend to Downey since both had co-starred in Air America, paid the insurance bond for the 2003 film The Singing Detective. Downey's performance in that film paved the way for his return to feature films including a role in the black comedy crime film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), the mystery thriller Zodiac (2007), and the satirical action comedy Tropic Thunder (2008); for the latter he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Downey went on to star as the Marvel Comics character Tony Stark in ten films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, beginning with Iron Man (2008) and concluding with Avengers: Endgame (2019). He has also played the title character in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes (2009), which earned him his second Golden Globe win, and its sequel (2011).