Skip to main content

The Remarkable Success Story of Robert Downey Jr.



Robert Downey as Iron Man
Robert Downey as Iron Man (Picture credit: chris Doornbos from flickr

Welcome to Youth Motivator. I would like to tell you the very motivational biography of Robert Downey Jr.
He is one of the greatest, most famous and expensive actors of Hollywood and acted in many blockbuster films.
Although Robert Downey appears very successful now, he struggled a lot in his initial years due to alcohol and drug addiction.
His inspirational life story is very remarkable and is a must read for everyone.
Robert Downey is widely popular for his role of Iron Man (Tony Stark) in ten films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe from Iron Man (2008) to Avengers: Endgame (2019).
His extraordinary acting skills, unique personality and amazing attitude made him very successful actor and helped him to garner millions of fans across the world.

Introduction-

Robert Downey is an American actor, producer and singer and is popular for portraying the role of Iron Man.
He was born on April 4, 1965 in Manhattan, New York, U.S.
His father, Robert Downey Sr. was a cult film maker, director and an actor while his mother, Elsie Ann was an actress.
As Robert Downey was born in a family associated with films, his childhood was very different.
At the age of 10, he studied classical ballet while living in England.
Since his childhood, Robert Downey was badly influenced by the party atmosphere around him and walked the wrong path.
During his childhood, he played minor roles in his father’s movies.
In 1970, at the young age of 5, Robert Downey made his screen debut in his father’s film, Pound.
In this movie, he played the role of a sick puppy waiting to get euthanized.
In 1972, Robert Downey acted in Greaser's Palace and this film was also directed by his father.
In 1987, he got his first leading role in The Pick-up Artist.

Getting recognised-

In 1992, Robert Downey played the lead role of Charlie Chaplin in the movie Chaplin.
This movie earned him a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actor but he lost the award to Al Pacino for the movie Scent of a Woman.
Robert Downey became the first Saturday Night Live cast member to get nominated for an Oscar in a Leading Role category for his applauded performance as Charlie Chaplin in the movie Chaplin.
This movie also helped him to get worldwide recognition for his acting skills.

The wrong path-

As his father was a drug addict, Robert Downey grew up surrounded by the drugs.
His father introduced him to drugs by passing him a joint (cannabis) at a party and he got addicted to heroin after smoking crack.
Robert Downey tried marijuana when he was just 6 years old and his father allowed him to do so.
Later, marijuana became a part of his daily life and he started consuming it like a staple.
Robert Downey felt that using drugs together with his father helped in their bonding and this allowed Robert Downey Sr. to express his love towards him in the only way he knew how.
At that time, Robert Downey Sr. felt that it would be insincere if he did not introduce his son to marijuana and so, he let Robert Downey to smoke at such a young age.
Later, Robert Downey Sr. regretted introducing drugs to his son.
When his parents got divorced in 1978, Robert Downey moved to California to live with his father.
Later, in 1982 he moved back to New York after dropping out of school to pursue acting career full-time.
When he first moved to Hollywood, Robert Downey was roommates with Kiefer Sutherland for three years and both of them co-starred in the 1998 movie, 1969.
Due to his drug addiction, Sarah Jessica Parker broke up with him and later, he also got divorced from Deborah Falconer.
During that time, Robert Downey was also suffering from bipolar disorder.
In 1987, he acted the role of a drug-addicted rich boy in the film Less Than Zero, this role kick-started his career.
This movie mirrored Robert Downey’s real life and his realistic performance earned him many positive reviews and offers from top directors.

The value of friendship-

After struggling for many years with substance abuse, arrests, legal troubles, rehab and relapse, Robert Downey needed someone’s help to make a comeback and revive his film career.
The drug and alcohol addiction severely impacted both his life and career and almost everyone believed that his acting career had come to an end.
During that time, the film makers were hesitant to give him a chance because of his habits.
Luckily, Robert Downey was helped by his best friend Mel Gibson, an American actor and filmmaker to make a comeback.
In 1990, both of them became best friends after acting together in the film Air America.
As Mel Gibson trusted Robert Downey, he paid his insurance bond for the 2003 movie The Singing Detective.
In this movie, Robert Downey played a lead role.
This movie helped him in making comeback and reviving his finances and acting career.
In 2005, Robert Downey was hired by Woody Allen for the film Melinda and Melinda but he was unable to cast him in this film because he failed to get insurance.
The success which he achieved in his initial career was masked by his drug addiction and legal troubles.

The very bad year-

In 1995, Robert Downey started smoking crack cocaine and black tar heroin.
His friends introduced him to these drugs and once he tried them, he developed an urge to do drugs every 20 minutes.
The year 1996 turned out to be a very bad year for Robert Downey, as in this year his drug use got out of control.
This made Sean Penn and Dennis Quaid to forcefully take Robert Downey in a private plane to a rehabilitation centre in Tucson.
But three days later, he ran out of the rehabilitation centre with only a water bottle and called his accountant for a plane ticket home.
And Robert Downey returned home in a drunken state.
Just a few days later, he drove naked in a Porsche and was high and throwing imaginary rats out of his car window.
During that time, Robert Downey was suffering from cocaine psychosis.
Even though he behaved strangely, he did not get arrested.
Later, Robert Downey felt very embarrassed for his behaviour.

His first arrest-

In April 1996, Robert Downey got arrested for the first time for possessing heroin, cocaine, and an unloaded .375 magnum while speeding down Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles County, California.
And just a month later, he trespassed into the home of Bill and Lisa Curtis under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Bill and Lisa Curtis were Robert Downey’s neighbours at Broad Beach Road, Malibu, California.
He slept unconsciously in their eleven year old son's bedroom.
When Lisa entered the room, she was surprised to see an unknown man in her child’s bed.
She complained to the emergency phone number, 911 that there was a strange man lying on her child’s bed in an unconscious state.
Robert Downey was charged for being under the influence of drugs but luckily the family did not charge him for trespassing.
After getting arrested, he was sent to the detox centre in Marina Del Rey.
But four days later, Robert Downey escaped from the bathroom window of the detox centre and reached his friend’s house in Malibu.
Within four hours the security found him and took him to jail.
Robert Downey failed many times while attempting to control his drug addiction.

Getting repeatedly arrested-

The court ordered Robert Downey to undergo compulsory drug testing but he missed one of the drug tests.
So, in 1997 he got arrested and was jailed for six months in the Los Angeles County jail.
Robert Downey felt humiliated and embarrassed upon getting imprisoned.
Here, he was assigned the task of scrubbing pizza pans and was paid eight cents per hour.
Robert Downey used to sleep on a three inch thick mattress and was given top bunk (bed) which he found difficult to climb up and down.
He shared his cell with four other inmates and his fellow prisoners used to call him Mo’ Downey.
During this time in jail, Robert Downey was attacked by the fellow inmates and woke up in a pool of his own blood.
This kind of incident occurred twice and he describes these incidents as the worst things that had happened to him and he dislikes telling about them.
In 1999, Robert Downey was once again arrested and was sentenced to a three-year prison term at the Corcoran state prison in California after he missed another drug test.
Once he explained his helplessness to a judge by relating his condition like having a shotgun in his mouth and having his finger on its trigger but having developing a taste for the gun metal.
This implies that Robert Downey was well aware of the dangers of the drug addiction but was helpless in overcoming his addiction because he developed a liking for the drugs.

An eye-opener-

The prison culture opened Robert Downey’s eyes to a lot of things.
In the prison, his self-esteem hit rock-bottom because he was considered as a menace to the society.
Initially, the atmosphere at the prison shocked Robert Downey with its razor wire fences and correctional officers.
Later, he got to know that the job of the correctional officers was to protect the society from the prisoners.
Robert Downey’s witty and humours nature helped him while he was publically struggling with drug addiction.
He is a very light-hearted person, once he was granted permission from the court to take leave from the rehab to host the Saturday Night Live and he made fun of himself on the show in a light-hearted manner.

The change which couldn’t last long-

After completing his jail sentence in 1999, it appeared like Robert Downey abandoned the drugs and started a new chapter in his life.
He was cast in Ally McBeal, a hit comedy-drama television series and was highly praised for his work and even won a Golden Globe award.
But once again, Robert Downey started doing drugs as he could not restrain himself from doing drugs for a long time.
In 2001, he was found roaming barefoot and later in a fetal position in an alley behind a motel in Culver City, California.
Later, Robert Downey got arrested and subsequently got fired from the Ally McBeal series.
Unfortunately, these developments made him bankrupt.
In 2003, a new chapter began in Robert Downey’s life when he met Susan Levin.
He fell in love with Susan Levin, a film producer during the filming of Gothika.
During that time, many production companies withheld 40 per cent of Robert Downey’s salary until the production got completed as insurance against his drug addiction behaviour.
He proposed to marry Susan Levin and she insisted that she would only marry him if he gave up doing drugs.

The beginning of the best times-

So, after struggling for many years with arrests, drug abuses, unsuccessful rehabs Robert Downey was ready to make a turn around and in a spectacular way, he threw all his drugs into the Pacific Ocean.
He entered a 12-step rehab program which included therapy sessions, meditation, practising Wing Chun Kung Fu.
Thanks to the 12-step rehab program and the support of Susan Levin, Robert Downey completely abandoned drugs and later, he described this journey as coming out of a 20 year old coma.
He made the strongest surprising comeback in Hollywood and his film career got completely revived as he got clean.
In 2005, Robert Downey acted in the title role in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and his acting was very well praised.

The biggest turning point of his life-

In 2008, the biggest turning point in Robert Downey’s life occurred when his two films, Iron Man and Tropic Thunder became blockbusters.
As Iron Man was a comic book character, playing that role seemed very challenging.
For a comic book character to succeed in film it must exactly replicate the character as in the comic books and it is very important for comic book fans to get connected with the character shown on the screen.
Robert Downey felt deeply connected with the role of Iron Man and experienced creative freedom while playing the role.
He noticed that the Iron Man movie portrayed his life like a documentary and observed that it was happening to him.
Jon Favreau, the project director of Iron Man gave Robert Downey a chance to act in the movie.
Jon Favreau strongly felt that only Robert Downey can do full justice to the character of Iron Man, so he insisted the folks at Marvel Studios to give him an opportunity.
His decision was later proved to be correct as Iron Man became a blockbuster and grossed $585.2 million worldwide.
The huge success of Iron Man changed the life of Robert Downey forever.
By this success, the production companies which were once reluctant to give him a chance grew very excited to make film contracts with him.

The irreplaceable-

Without Robert Downey, the characters of Tony Stark and Iron Man would have been nearly impossible.
Once in ACE Comic Con, Chris Evans who played the role of Captain America opined that Robert Downey is irreplaceable and nobody could ever replace him.
He also said that the role of Iron Man is very different from the roles of Superman or Batman and it cannot find different incarnations.

Another blockbuster-

After Iron Man, Robert Downey acted in the title character of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes.
This movie was released on December 25, 2009 and broke many box office records in the United States.
This movie grossed over $524 million worldwide and Robert Downey was awarded Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
He also acted in the sequel of Sherlock Holmes.

The success saga continues-

Later, Robert Downey appeared in many famous movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe like Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, The Avengers, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant.
The most successful films of his career include Iron Man, Tropic Thunder, Sherlock Holmes, Due Date, The Avengers and The Judge.
Robert Downey also released his debut studio album The Futurist on November 23, 2004.
On June 14, 2010, Robert Downey and his wife, Susan Levin opened their own production company by name, Team Downey.

Getting pardoned-

In December 2015, Governor of California Jerry Brown pardoned Robert Downey for all his convictions because he came clean and was out of custody for 10 years.
He was one among the 91 other people to get pardoned for the criminal convictions.

Becoming the highest-paid actor-

In 2008, Robert Downey was paid $500,000 for Iron Man and his salary multiplied many times for his other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.
He was paid a whopping $75 million for his role in the 2019 Avengers: Endgame.
From the years 2013 to 2015, Robert Downey was listed as the Hollywood's highest-paid actor by Forbes.
His persistence and never give up attitude took him from being unemployable to becoming one of the highest-paid actors in the world.
In 2016, Robert Downey lost his highest-paid actor title to Dwayne Johnson (The Rock).
Once, he was earning just 8 cents per hour but now his net worth is $300 million.
Even after attaining huge success, Robert Downey is a very down to earth person.

An avid car lover-

Robert Downey owns a great collection of luxury cars which includes an Audi A8, Audi A7, Mercedes-Benz Pagoda, Bentley Continental, Mercedes SL550 Coupe Convertible, Nissan GTR, Ferrari California T, Porsche 993, Acura NSX, Boss 302 Mustang, Audi e-tron GT concept, etc.
In many Iron Man movies, Robert Downey was shown driving an Audi car.

The important life lessons-

Robert Downey’s biography is filled with many important life lessons.
His life story states that it is completely fine to ask for help during the difficult situations and you should not be ashamed for asking help.
Robert Downey took the help of the 12-step rehab program to overcome his insurmountable drug addiction.
Eventually, he was able to overcome his vices with his will power and dedication.
It also important to remember that just because you hit the bottom in your life does not mean that you have to stay there forever.
Robert Downey rose to the heights of success every time he fell and this signifies the importance of getting up every time we fall down.

The best time is now-

It is never too late to change your life.
Robert Downey permanently changed his life when he was 38 years old by overcoming drug addiction.
Once he said that deciding whether or not to overcome a problem or challenge is much difficult than actually overcoming it.

The power of persistence-

It is very easy to succumb to hopelessness during the difficult times but when you persistently try to improve the situations, the difficult times will pass with the passage of time.

The power of self-discipline and habits-

To overcome the bad habits, you should utilise the power of self-discipline and habits.
Self-discipline is created with the habits which are practised daily, so you must cultivate only good habits, the habits which will take you towards your goals.
It is difficult to completely eliminate a bad habit but it is much easier to replace it with a good habit.
Initially, you should use willpower and work daily to replace your bad habits with good ones.
You might not always have strong willpower but when you create good habits, they will propel you towards your goals and help you to create your own destiny.
Robert Downey’s life story affirms that nothing is impossible and you are the master of your destiny.

You might also like-


Thank you very much for reading. Please visit my blog and share the content, follow this blog as I will be updating my blog with interesting information. And also, subscribe to my blog.
Feedback from readers is highly appreciated; it helps me to deliver better results to you.

Once again thank you for your time

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Splendid Spiritual Saga of Sadhguru

Welcome to Youth Motivator. I would like to tell you the interesting story of Jaggi Vasudev and how Jaggi Vasudev became Sadhguru. This article will help you to cultivate a feeling of spirituality and provide you with spiritual motivation. Sadhguru is an Indian mystic, yogi, philanthropist and author.
This article is the biography of Sadhguru. Introduction -Jaggi Vasudev (Sadhguru) was born on 3 September 1957 in Mysore, Karnataka, India. Until the age of 19 years, Sadhguru did not spoke much and was very silent. Sadhguru did not spoke much because he realised that he didn’t know about anything. He realised this when he was 4 years old. Paying the complete attention -Sadhguru spent most part of his childhood paying attention to whatever he encountered. If he saw a glass of water, he used to stare at it for hours and during night he used to gaze at the darkness for the whole night. And when Sadhguru opened a book to read, he would immerse himself in focussing on a small tiny dot on a page for…

The Very Motivational Story of Cristiano Ronaldo

Welcome to Youth Motivator. I would like to tell you about the world’s favourite footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.
This article is the biography of Cristiano Ronaldo. Introduction-Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born on 5 February 1985 in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal in a very poor family. Because of the poverty, they used to daily face struggles. His father,José used to work as a gardener and as a kit man in a football club, on a very low pay. His job as a kit man was to supply kits to the football players and clean their rooms. José was very sad because he had not achieved anything meaningful in his life and he cannot properly feed his children because of poverty, so he became an alcoholic. Even though he was an alcoholic, he took good care of Ronaldo. The football game was introduced to Ronaldo by his father. Since, his childhood Cristiano Ronaldo did not show much interest in education but had a great passion for football. And he used to play football really well. Making his own footbal…

The Success Story of Ola Cabs-The Startup which Became One of the Fastest Achievers of the Unicorn Status

Welcome to Youth Motivator. I would like to tell you the success story of Ola Cabs. Unicorn status means achieving one billion dollar valuation by a privately held startup. Ola Cabs is one of the fastest achievers of the unicorn status in India. Ola Cabs is also the India’s first taxi aggregator company. This is the interesting case study of Ola Cabs.
This article is also the biography of Bhavish Aggarwal. Introduction-Ola Cabs was co-founded by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, the alumni of IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Bombay. Bhavish Aggarwal completed computer science and engineering in 2008 from the prestigious IIT. He started his career in the Microsoft Research centre. Bhavish Aggarwal studied in an IIT, where the spirit of entrepreneurship is induced by regular seminars on topics like entrepreneurship and business. By listening to these speeches, Bhavish Aggarwal decided in his college days that, one day he will definitely become an entrepreneur and stand on his own feet. The s…

The Success Story of PUBG- The World's Most Popular Battle Royale Game

Welcome to Youth Motivator. I would like to tell you the success story of PUBG. PUBG is also known as PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Let us know how a passionate photographer is the reason for the popularity of PUBG. This game has become so popular, so much that you can observe many people playing PUBG on their mobile phones, personal computers, laptops and gaming consoles. The current generation of young people daily spend at least some amount of their time for playing this game. Even some people have become addicted to this game. Let us also know how PUBG was very effectively marketed on a low budget, which is the main reason for the success of the PUBG game. Let us learn how the company which created this game is earning billions of dollars through this game.
This article is also the biography of Brendan Greene. Introduction-Brendan Greene, an Irish national is the creator of the PUBG game. Brendan Greene graduated in fine arts and later went on to become a web designer. He also learne…

The Success Story of ByteDance (The Owner of TikTok)-Becoming the World's Most Valuable Start-up

Welcome to Youth Motivator. I would like to tell you the success story of a very popular and controversial application, TikTok. Let us know how the company which offers TikTok has been valuated at a whopping 75 billion dollars. TikTok is a very popular social video app; more than 500 million youngsters use this app for creating and sharing short-duration videos. TikTok has been one of the most downloaded apps on the Google Play and App Store. By reading this post you will get to know very interesting facts and will gain insights on how this app grew so rapidly worldwide.
This article is also the biography of Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang. The start-TikTok was initially started as an educational project. In the year 2014, two friends namely, Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang decided to develop an educational app. These two friends observed that at those times the educational videos were too lengthy. So, an idea sparked in their minds that they will produce short educational videos which would range in between 3 …

The Success Story of Elon Musk- The Most Revolutionary Risk-taking Entrepreneur Ever

Hello, welcome to Youth Motivator. Today, I would like to share with you the very inspirational story of Elon Musk.
This article is the biography of Elon Musk. The biggest risk in our lives- Do you know who are under severe risk? The people who don’t take any risk in their lives and don’t leave their comfort zones. All the great people took risks in some part of their lives to attain great success. Introduction- I am going to tell you about a famous personality who is a life-long risk taker. Yes, he is Elon Musk, the legend who is changing the world and one of the few peoples on earth who has potential to change the world. Elon Reeve Musk was born on June 28, 1971 in Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa. His parents got divorced when he was just 10 years. He used to live with his father after the divorce. Since his childhood, Elon Musk showed great interest in science and computers. Creative since childhood- He learnt computer programming and coding on his own, when Elon Musk was a kid. He…

The Inspiring Story of OYO- On the Path of Becoming the World’s Largest Hotel Chain

Hello, welcome to Youth Motivator, here I would like to tell you the success story of Ritesh Agarwal and his start-up OYO.
This article is also the biography of Ritesh Agarwal. Introduction Ritesh Agarwal is the founder and CEO of OYO. He is of 25 years. He was born in Bishama Katek, Orissa, India in the year 1993. Now OYO has around 450,000 rooms, in several countries like India, China, United Kingdom, Japan, UAE, etc. OYO is already the Asia’s largest hotel chain with around 90 per cent occupancy rate. Today, the net worth of Ritesh is 37,36,72,000 USD. How all of this started? From his childhood Ritesh wanted to become an entrepreneur. He got to know about the term entrepreneur from his elder sister, who once attended the entrepreneurship fest in an engineering college. He did not know the meaning of entrepreneur, so he looked for this word in Oxford Dictionary and found that an entrepreneur is somebody who solves a problem and makes a business along with it. Ritesh was so captured…

The Inspiring Story of Dhirubhai Ambani – A Must Read for Every Entrepreneur

Welcome to Youth Motivator. I would like to tell you the success story of Dhirubhai Ambani which proves that where there is a will, there is a way. This is a must read for everyone, as this story is filled with motivation.
This article is the biography of Dhirubhai Ambani. Ambani became one of the greatest businessmen who redefined the meaning of the business despite lacking financial support, family background and education from the prestigious business schools. He achieved great heights with his indomitable will-power and dedication. Ambani is the founder of the Reliance Industries Limited, one of the world’s largestmultinational conglomerate companies. Now, the total assets of the Reliance Industries Limited are more than US$140 billion. Before starting Reliance Industries Limited, Ambani did several jobs. Introduction-Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani (Dhirubhai Ambani) was born on 28 December 1932 to Hirachand Gordhanbhai Ambani and Jamnaben Ambani in Chorwad, Junagadh district, Gujarat in a p…

The Inspiring Story of Xiaomi (Mi)- A Very Successful Start-up

Welcome to Youth Motivator. I would like to tell you the success story of Xiaomi. This start-up company became the world’s fourth largest smartphone manufacturer within just eight years of entering the smartphone market. Xiaomi is a Chinese tech giant, headquartered in Haidian District,Beijing, China. Introduction-About the founder-Lei Jun was born on 16 December 1969 in Xiantao, China. He attended Wuhan University. In in the year 1992, he started his career as an engineer in Kingsoft. Lei Jun was so capable, that in the year 1998 he became the CEO of Kingsoft. So, it took him just six years to become the CEO. And in the year 2000, Lei Jun founded Joyo.com, an online book store. This initiative by Lei Jun was very successful and in the year 2004, he sold Joyo.com to Amazon.com for 75 million US dollars. After tasting this success, Lei Jun decided to do something bigger. The story of Xiaomi-On 6th April 2010, Lei Jun along with a team of 7 members founded Xiaomi Company with an initial investment…

The Inspiring Story of Sreekant Bolla- The Blind CEO who founded Bollant Industries

Welcome to Youth Motivator. I would like to tell you about a blind person who has achieved great success with his confidence and persistence. 
Even when society treated him cruelly, he gave back his valuable contributions to the society and helped to motivate the physically handicapped people all around the world. 
This article is the biography of Srikanth Bolla.
Even though he was hated by the society his parents always supported his endeavours and stood by his back.
Srikanth Bolla was born blind and from his childhood he was widely discriminated by the society. 
He at a very young age established a company worth many billions, which even normal people find very difficult to do. Most of the people only think of doing great things but they lack the courage to realise their dreams, here you will know how a person with disability and constant humiliation by society achieved great feats at such a young age.
 He later on went to establish a company which not only proved his worth but he also e…