The fanlisting for actor and musician Robert Downey Jr.

RDJ's career

Robert John Downey Jr. is an Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning American actor and musician. He first became known during the late 1980s and early 1990s, after a series of well-reviewed performances in Hollywood films.

After a period of drug addiction during the late 1990s, Downey resumed his acting career, appearing on the television series Ally McBeal as well as in a number of supporting and lead film roles, including the hit movie Iron Man. Downey has evolved into one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. With an amazing list of credits to his name, he has managed to stay new and fresh even after three decades in the business.

Early career

Robert's filmmaker father cast him as a puppy in his movie Pound when Robert was just five years old. A few years later he starred in another one of his father's films called Greaser's Palace.

At the age of twenty, he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live, but part of the show for only one season. In 1987, he portrayed a drug-addicted rich boy in Less Than Zero and received high praise from film critics.

Downey received an Academy Award nomination and won the BAFTA (British Academy Award) for Best Actor for his performance in the title role of Chaplin, released in 1992. His other films in the 1990s include Heart and Souls, Only You, Natural Born Killers, and Restoration.

Later career

In May 2008, it was announced that the sequel for Iron Man is in the works. The film, Iron Man 2, was released in May 2010. In the second installment, billionaire Tony Stark must contend with deadly issues involving the government, his own friends, as well as new enemies due to his superhero alter ego Iron Man.

Robert stars as a modern Sherlock Holmes in a Guy Ritchie film, which was released in the US on Christmas Day 2009. The basis for the film is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic tales, but also the comic book Sherlock Holmes. For this role, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy.

One of Robert's newest films is the critically acclaimed Ben Stiller comedy Tropic Thunder, co-starring Stiller and Jack Black, where a group of actors shooting a big-budget war movie are forced to become the soldiers they are portraying. The film was released on August 13th, 2008 in the US. Robert earned Academy Award, Golden Globe, Critics' Choice, Chicago Film Critics, Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA nominations for his supporting role as Kirk Lazarus, "the world's greatest actor", who undergoes controversial plastic surgery to play an African American soldier.

On May 2nd, 2008, the big screen adaptation of Marvel's legendary super hero Iron Man hit theaters. Robert stars as Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who builds a high-tech armor to escape from kidnappers. After uncovering a nefarious plot with global implications, he vows to protect the world as Iron Man. Iron Man mined enough in its box office debut to join the pantheon all-time highest openers, grossing an estimated $104.2 million domestically and $96.7 million internationally for a worldwide cume of $201 million in its first five days.

On August 27th, 2007, Variety announced that Robert would be starring with Jamie Foxx in The Soloist, the Joe Wright-directed fact-based drama about a violin prodigy. Robert portrays Steve Lopez, the Los Angeles Times columnist who discovered Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless man who was a skillful violinist. Shooting began in Los Angeles in January 2008. The film was released in April 2009 in the US.

Another recent film is Charlie Bartlett in which a rich kid (Anton Yelchin) becomes the self-appointed psychiatrist to the student body of his new high school. Robert plays the principal of the school. The movie was originally going to be released in August 2007, but the premiere date was moved to February 2008. The studio saw a lot of potential in the film and they feared it would go unnoticed amongst all the big blockbuster summer movies.

One of Robert's most recent work is Zodiac, which is based on the true story of San Francisco's infamous Zodiac murders. Directed by David Fincher, the film also stars Mark Ruffalo, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anthony Edwards. Downey has recently been seen in Fur, opposite Nicole Kidman in a film inspired by the life of Diane Arbus, the revered photographer whose images captured attention in the early 60s.

He also appeared in A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, based on the novel by Dito Montiel, co-starring Rosario Dawson, which he also helped produce. In addition, Downey was seen in the live-action derived animation A Scanner Darkly, Richard Linklater's futuristic drama also starring Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder and Woody Harrelson, set in an America that has lost the war on drugs.

Previously, Downey had a starring role in the critically acclaimed Good Night and Good Luck, directed by George Clooney, in which Downey plays journalist Joe Wershba, who is part of the Edward R. Murrows / CBS team that takes on Senator Joe McCarthy. Downey also starred in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, an action comedy written and directed by Shane Black, and also starring Val Kilmer. Downey played a thief who masquearades as an actor.

In November 2004, Downey released his debut album called The Futurist on the Sony Classical label. The album, which contains eight original songs that Downey wrote, and two cover songs, shows off his sultry singing voice and his musical talents.

Skechers USA signed a global footwear endorsement deal with Robert in 2002. The campaign launched in April and ran through winter 2003 in domestic and international magazines. In December 2003, Robert starred in a Volvo commercial called The Route V50, a straight-to-Internet mini-feature, directed by Stephen Frears.

Downey made his primetime television debut in 2001, joining the cast of the Fox series Ally McBeal, in the role of Ally's boyfriend Larry Paul. For this role, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for Television, as well as the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Comedy Series. Downey was also nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

The future

In July 2006, it was announced that Robert is in the process of writing his autobiography, promised to be a candid look at the highs and lows of his life. At this point, however, the project is on hold. According to some sources, two more albums are in the works.

In October 2008, it was reported that in addition to starring in Iron Man 2, Robert has agreed to return as billionaire Tony Stark and his crime-fighting alter ego in The Avengers and a third Iron Man installment.