Dirty Laundry

Dirty Laundry

Dirty Laundry

Robert Downey Jr. attends the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' 14th Annual Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom on January 09, 2024 in Hollywood, California.

Robert Downey Jr. is one of our favorite actors of all time. The man oozes charisma and in every role; you can’t help but be drawn to him. RDJ was born on April 4, 1965, in New York City, the son of writer, director, and filmographer Robert Downey Sr. and actress Elsie Downey.

Robert Downey Jr.'s 5 Best Roles

(Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

As a child, Downey was “surrounded by drugs“. His father was a drug addict, and his mother was an alcoholic. Downey Sr. His father allowed him to try marijuana when he was six years old by handing him a joint and said, “Take a puff.” RDJ has said he also “might have had a little coke” as a child. Growing up in the 70s, his father thought nothing of it. The Iron Man alum stated that he and his father did drugs together for the first time when he was eight and that drug use became an emotional bond between him and his father as a way of “him trying to express his love for me in the only way he knew how.”

RELATED: Robert Downey Jr. Jokes He’s A ‘Fledging Interior Designer’

Robert Downey Jr. made his acting debut at five years old in his father’s 1970 film Pound as a sick puppy. Downey’s parents divorced in 1977 when he was twelve. He went and lived with his mother, while his sister Allyson went to live with their father in California. RDJ went to live with his father in California but dropped out of high school. At 17, he moved back to New York to pursue an acting career.

The actor started gaining critical acclaim, appearing in Less Than Zero, Weird Science, and Chaplin. However, he was battling drug addiction, was arrested several times, and was in and out of rehab for the next ten years. It wasn’t until 2003 that Downey turned things around in his sobriety. 2008 was the actor’s biggest year, starring in back-to-back blockbusters Iron Man and Tropic Thunder. Since then, the actor has stayed sober and credits it all to his wife, Susan Downey, after she gave him an ultimatum. With 93 acting credits below his belt, there are plenty of films to choose from of Robert Downey Jr.’s best roles.

Take a look below at our top 5 picks of Robert Downey Jr.’s best roles:

  • Iron Man

    With Iron Man, RDJ kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Tony Stark. Downey’s portrayal of Tony was perfect, understanding what makes the genius inventor tick. Downey took a comic book character and made him relatable. He reprised the role eight more times, and though we miss his character, it was a fantastic run for him in the Marvel Universe.

  • Tropic Thunder

    He’s a dude, playing a dude, disguised as another dude! If you didn’t know about, or see this absolutely ridiculous movie the same year Iron Man came out, you completely missed out on a gem. RDJ plays Kirk Lazarus, who plays Lincoln Osiris. Kirk is an Australian method actor and five-time Academy Award winner who had a controversial “pigmentation alteration” surgery to temporarily darken his skin for his portrayal of the black character, Staff Sergeant Lincoln Osiris. This movie sure isn’t for the weak-hearted, but this movie has a special place in our hearts.

  • Oppenheimer

    Since his Marvel stint, RDJ hadn’t starred in a blockbuster until 2023’s Oppenheimer. In the film, he stars as a dude, playing a conniving dude, disguised as a trustworthy dude. Spoiler alert: his character, antagonistic bureaucrat Lewis Strauss, betrays Cillian Murphy’s Oppenheimer through an orchestrated undermining of events in the film, making him a great villain that we did not see coming. Downey described Oppenheimer as “the best film” in which he has appeared to date — and he’s got 93 acting credits below his belt.

  • Due Date

    Now this is a classic film to rewatch and laugh. RDJ and Zach Galifianakis star in this 2010 road trip film, with Downey’s character needing to fly back to be with his wife in time for the birth of their first baby. With his unfortunate meeting with Galifianakis’ Ethan Tremblay, the two become traveling companions. However, things go from worse to horribly worse as Tremblay seems to mess everything up along their trip. It is just hilarious to watch Downey react to Galifianakis’ wild antics.

  • Weird Science

    This is the oldest film we watch Downey in; we barely recognize him in this 1985 science-fantasy comedy film. In the movie, he plays a bully named Ian, who terrorizes the main characters throughout for ogling his girlfriend. Though his role isn’t a lead one, this movie has become a cult classic.

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