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Robert Downey Jr Biography

Robert John Downey, Jr. is an American actor, film producer, and musician. Downey made his screen debut at the age of five when he appeared in one of his father's films, 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) and Soapdish (1991). These higher-profile roles eventually led to his being cast as Charlie Chaplin in the 1992 film Chaplin, for which he gained 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 sober. 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 he was nominated for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category and won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a mini-series or TV Film, 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 which premiered in the spring of 2008, making almost $100 million in the United States and Canada during its opening weekend. In addition to receiving commercial success, Downey's performance in the film received rave reviews.

His other 2008 films include Charlie Bartlett and the Ben Stiller-directed Tropic Thunder, in which he portrayed an Australian method actor overly engrossed in his role as an African-American soldier. He received his second Oscar nomination for said film, in the category of Best Supporting Actor, which he lost to Heath Ledger.

Next he played the titular lead character in Guy Ritchie's adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, released Christmas 2009, for which Downey won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical Or Comedy for his portrayal of the famous detective. He will also be returning to the role of Iron Man in the 2010 sequel, Iron Man 2.
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