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Robert Downey Junior


Date of Birth: Sunday, April 04, 1965
AGE: 53
Occupation: Actor





Biography: An American actor. Downey made his screen debut in 1970 at the age of five when he appeared in his father?s film Pound, and has worked consistently in film and television ever since. During the 1980s he had roles in a series of coming of age films associated with the Brat Pack. Less Than Zero (1987) is particularly notable, not only because it was the first time Downey?s acting would be acknowledged by critics, but also because the role pushed Downey?s already existing drug habit one step further. After Zero, Downey started landing roles in bigger films such as Air America (1990), Soapdish (1991) and Natural Born Killers (1994). He played Charlie Chaplin in the 1992 film Chaplin for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

Between 1996 and 2001, Downey was frequently arrested on drug-related charges and went through several drug treatment programs, but had difficulty staying clean. After being released from the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in 2000, Downey joined the cast of the hit television series Ally McBeal playing the new love interest of Calista Flockhart?s title character. His performance was praised and received accolades, but his character was written out when Downey was fired after two drug arrests in late 2000 and early 2001. After one last stay in a court-ordered drug treatment program, Downey finally achieved lasting sobriety and his career began to take off again. He appeared in semi-independent films such as The Singing Detective (2003), Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), and A Scanner Darkly (2006). He also had supporting roles in the mainstream films Gothika (2003) and Zodiac (2007). In 2004, Downey released his debut studio album The Futurist.

In 2007, Downey was cast as the title character in the comic book adaptation Iron Man. The film was a huge success; the opening weekend for Iron Man is still in the top 20 openings of all time. He reprised the role of Tony Stark in the 2010 sequel, Iron Man 2, and will again in 2012 in The Avengers and in the third movie of the planned trilogy, Iron Man 3, due to open in 2013. In addition to receiving commercial success, Downey?s performance in the first Iron Man film received rave reviews. In 2009, Downey starred as the titular lead character in Guy Ritchie?s adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, released Christmas 2009. Soon after, Downey won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for that portrayal of the famous detective.

Downey was born in Manhattan, New York, the younger of two children. His father, Robert Downey, Sr., is an actor, writer, producer, cinematographer, and director of underground films, and his mother, Elsie (née Ford), is also an actress and appeared in Downey Sr.?s films. His father is of half Irish and half Russian Jewish ancestry, and his mother is of German and Scottish descent. His father was born "Robert Elias" but changed his last name to "Downey" (after his stepfather James Downey) when he was a minor and wanted to enlist in the Army. He and his older sister, Allyson, grew up in Greenwich Village.

During his childhood Downey had minor roles in his father?s projects. He made his acting debut at the age of five playing a sick puppy in the absurdist comedy Pound (1970), and then at age seven he appeared in the surrealist Greaser?s Palace (1972). At the age of 10, he was living in England and studied classical ballet as part of a larger curriculum. He grew up in Greenwich Village and attended the Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in upstate New York as a teenager. When his parents divorced in 1978, Downey moved to California with his father, but in 1982 he dropped out of Santa Monica High School and moved back to New York to pursue an acting career full-time.

Downey started dating actress Sarah Jessica Parker after meeting her on the set of Firstborn. They separated in 1991 because of his drug addiction, according to Downey. He married actress/singer Deborah Falconer on May 29, 1992, after a 42-day courtship, and had a son with her, Indio. The strain on their marriage from Downey?s repeated trips to rehab and jail finally reached a breaking point; in 2001, in the midst of Downey?s last arrest and sentencing to an extended stay in rehab, Falconer left Downey and took Indio with her. Downey and Falconer finalized their divorce in 2004. Downey now sees his son frequently after settling custody arrangements with Falconer.

In 2003, on the set of Gothika, Downey met producer Susan Levin, an Executive Vice President of Production at Joel Silver?s movie company, Silver Pictures. Downey and Susan quietly struck up a romance during production, though Susan turned down his romantic advances twice. Despite Susan?s worries that the romance would not last after the completion of shooting because "he?s an actor; I have a real job", the couple?s relationship continued after production wrapped on Gothika, and Downey proposed to Susan on the night before her thirtieth birthday. The couple were married on August 27, 2005, in a Jewish ceremony at Amagansett, New York. He credits his wife with helping him kick his drug and alcohol habits. "There?s no understanding for me of the bigger picture in real time in a hands-on way without her. Because it was the perfect, perfect, perfect matching of personalities and gifts." One of his biceps reads "Suzie Q" in tribute to her. The couple are expecting their first child in February 2012.

Downey says he has been drug-free since July 2003, thanks to his family, therapy, meditation, twelve-step recovery programs, yoga and the practice of Wing Chun Kung Fu




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