45 interesting facts about Robert Downey Jr.: He is the only former SNL cast member to be nominated for an Academy Award


Robert Downey Jr. is an American actor known for roles in a wide variety of films, including Iron Man, Chaplin, Soapdish and Wonder Boys. Here are 45 interesting facts about Robert Downey Jr.

  1. Robert Downey Jr. was born on April 4, 1965 in New York City.
  2. He began acting at the age of five when he played a puppy in the film Pound, which was directed by his father Robert Downey, Sr.
  3. Robert Sr. was an actor, writer, producer, cinematographer, and director of underground films and Junior grew up taking parts in his father's films.
  4. Downey Jr studied ballet at the Perry House School in London at the age of 10
  5. His parents divorced when he was only 11-years-old.
  6. He grew up in numerous places around in the States and Europe: Greenwich Village, New York; Connecticut; Paris, France; London, England; Woodstock, Vermont; Santa Monica, California.
  7. Robert Downey Jr. attended Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in upstate New York and Santa Monica High School in California, though he dropped out in 1982 to pursue acting. Robert received his G.E.D. in 2000.
  8. Robert dropped out of Santa Monica High School at age 17 to become an actor. His first jobs in the city included bussing tables at Central Falls restaurant, working in a shoestore, and performing as "living art" at the notorious underground club Area.
  9. Robert got his big break at age 20 when he joined the acclaimed Saturday Night Live sketch comedy team. But his tenure was short-lived. He was fired due to bad audience ratings a year later.
  10. Downey's first leading role on the big screen was a charming womanizer in The Pick-up Artist (1987), a romantic comedy co-starring Molly Ringwald that was written and directed by James Toback.
  11. His breakthrough performance came in 1987 with Less Than Zero (1987), in which he co-starred with Andrew McCarthy. Downey played the party loving, cocaine-addicted Julian Wells in the film.
  12. Unfortunately, that movie triggered a need for drugs. "Until that movie, I took my drugs after work and on the weekends," he later explained. "Maybe I'd turn up hungover on the set, but no more so than the stuntman. That changed on Less Than Zero. I was playing this junkie-faggot guy, and, for me, the role was like the ghost of Christmas future. The character was an exaggeration of myself. Then things changed, and, in some ways, I became an exaggeration of the character. That lasted far longer than it needed to last."
  13. Once broke into his neighbor's home in intoxicated condition with the thought that the house was his own and fell asleep on the bed.
  14. He said once in an interview that his father is the one who introduced him to drugs, offering him a marijuana joint when he was eight years old.
  15. He dated actress Sarah Jessica Parker in 1984 after meeting on the set for Firstborn.
  16. Downey has since admitted that his behavior was to blame for their separation. "I liked to drink, and I had a drug problem, and that didn't jibe with Sarah Jessica, because it is the furthest thing from what she is," he told Parade in 2008. "She provided me a home and understanding. She tried to help me. She was so miffed when I didn't get my act together."
  17. They lived together for eight years.
  18. He literally buried the clothes he wore in "Less Than Zero" (1987) in the back yard of his house as a symbol of leaving his brat pack image to start a new phase in his film career.
  19. Robert Downey Jr. later married Susan Downey in 2005. They met on the set of Gothika. She was one of the movie's producers.
  20. His friends call him "Bob."
  21. He and Susan had a son named Exton on February 7, 2012 and a daughter named Avri on November 4, 2014.
  22. He also had a son named Indio with Deborah Falconer, whom he was married to from 1992 to 2004.
  23. He won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Ally McBeal in 2000.
  24. He also won another for Best Actor for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in 2009.
  25. Robert Downey Jr's first Academy Award nomination came from his portrayal of film legend Charlie Chaplin in Richard Attenborough's 1992 biopic Chaplin.
  26. He is a martial artist and he devotes much of his free time to his practice of Wing Chun.
  27. He was let out of rehab for one day to shoot the Elton John video "I Want Love".
  28. Downey Jr. is 5'8″ / 1.73 m tall.
  29. Robert said once that tuna melts were once his hangover cure.
  30. Robert kept a lot of the authentic vintage clothing he wore in the movie Chaplin.
  31. Peter O'Toole is Robert's favorite actor.
  32. Robert has always had a talent for singing. Besides releasing his own album, he also really sang while he starred on "Ally McBeal." (He was even featured on the "Ally McBeal" Christmas album)
  33. He was labeled the Sexiest Lawyer by People Magazine in 2000 for his role in "Ally McBeal" (1997-2002).
  34. He underwent daily drug tests when starring in "Two Girls and a Guy" (1997) in which he filmed for only 11 days.
  35. He collaborated with contemporary artist Sam Taylor-Wood to make an art video entitled "Pieta" which then was included in Taylor-Wood's 2001/2002 exhibition of "Mute" at the White Cube 2 art gallery in London.
  36. He is the only SNL actor to have been nominated for an Oscar. Although numerous SNL cast members have made scores of films both during and after their tenure at SNL, they have rarely found any favor with the Academy. At least four ex-cast members have been nominated for a Best Supporting Oscar (Joan Cusack, Dan Ackroyd, Albert Brooks, and most recently Downey himself), yet Robert Downey Jr. is the only one with a Best Actor nomination, given in 1993 for his brilliant starring role in Chaplin.
  37. His second wedding ceremony in 2005 was attended by 150 guest, including Keanu Reeves, Billy Joel and Sting.
  38. Robert Downey Jr. participated at a concert held by Jazz at Lincoln Center, the not-for-profit arts organization, together with Lyle Lovett and Tom Jones on June 6, 2005.
  39. In 2006, Robert Downey Jr. released a solo album in 2004, titled The Futurist. Although he had contributed music to both film and television, the album marked his debut as a singer/songwriter and it featured, in his words: "highbrow pop with jazz and classical influences."
  40. On July 9, 2014, he announced via Facebook and Twitter that he and his wife were expecting a daughter in November. On November 4, Susan gave birth to a girl named Avri Roel Downey.
  41. Robert Downey Jr. could have played Duckie in "Pretty in Pink": And if he had, the movie would have likely ended very differently. "Molly Ringwald felt that if Robert Downey, Jr., the guy that she liked, had been cast, she would have been okay with the original ending," actual Duckie actor Jon Cryer told audiences at a "Pretty in Pink" screening in 2008.
  42. He was included in People magazine's annual list of Sexiest Men Alive in 2009.
  43. He was considered for the role of Zaphod Beeblebrox in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (2005), but it eventually went to Sam Rockwell.
  44. Downey Jr. once shared a house with fellow actors Kiefer Sutherland and Billy Zane.
  45. Robert Downey Jr. has endorsed for Skechers Footwear and Volvo.

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