The sometimes troubled son of an independent filmmaker, Robert John Downey Jr was born in Greenwich Village, New York City on the afternoon of April 4, 1965. He is of German, Jewish, Scottish, Irish and Russian descent. His father’s work meant a great deal of movement for Downey Jr during his childhood. He has lived in California,Connecticut, New York, Paris and London where he studied classical ballet. At seventeen he dropped out of high school in Santa Monica, California, moving to New York to become an actor. This move would undoubtedly be faced with many obstacles and would find him resorting to the time tested means of raising money by up and coming actors. This period found him waiting tables, working in a shoe store and performing as living art at an underground club in SoHo.
His acting career began at the age of five when he played a part in his father’s Pound (1970). He briefly joined the cast of Saturday Night Live for one season before heading for Tinsel town. There he starred in films such as The Pick-Up Artist (1987) with fellow Brat Packer Molly Ringwald, Chances Are (1989), Chaplin (1992), a performance which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, Heart and Souls (1993) and Only You (1994).
Describing himself as “an incredibly gifted faker”, he has nonetheless come to be regarded and esteemed by acting peers. His remarkable career has however been plagued and somewhat overshadowed by drug addiction and substance abuse. His career was in an upswing when in 2000, he won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his guest-starring role in Ally McBeal (1997), where he played the titular character’s love interest. This high was short-lived however as he was fired from the series after being arrested in Los Angeles for being under the influence of a controlled substance.
After several years in and out of rehab and jail, he seems to have revived his career and killed his more troublesome reputation. With a list of recent successes Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), Iron Man (2008), Tropic Thunder (2008) and film projects slated well into 2010, Robert Downey Jr has leveraged his undeniable talent to catapult himself back unto Hollywood’s A-list. This exceptional actor has also shown his vocal ability in duets with the likes of Vonda Shepard and Sting. He has also released an album of his own work entitled “The Futurist” (2005)
The once divorced Downey Jr is now married to Susan Downey, whom he met on the set of Gothika (2003). He has one son, Indio, with first wife Deborah Falconer. He lived with Sarah Jessica Parker for seven years during the 1980s.