Born in 1965, Robert Downey Jr. has had a tumultuous acting career facilitated by his longtime battle with drugs and alcohol. As a child, he acted in his director father’s underground films Pound and Greaser’s Palace.
In his twenties, he became known as a member of Hollywood’s Brat Pack for his roles in Weird Science, The Pick-Up Artist, and other coming-of-age films in the 1980s. In 1987, he played rich drug addict Julian Wells in the film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel Less Than Zero, a role that Downey went on to say “was like the ghost of Christmas Future.”
From 1996-2001 Downey’s life began spiraling out of control as he was in and out of rehab facilities and jail due to his severe drug use. After years of binges, drug-fueled arrests, and reckless behavior, Robert Downey Jr. finally decided enough was enough and got clean. This decision led to a major career comeback and starring roles as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Sherlock Homes. With another Iron Man to be released this year and multiple projects in the works, Downey’s acting career doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
Happy Birthday Robert Downey Jr.!