Robert studied classical ballet when he was 10 and attending the Perry House School in Chelsea in London, England.
Robert was forced to wear platform shoes during filming of Sherlock Holmes as director Guy Ritchie wanted him & co-star Jude Law to be the same height. The elevated heels caused Robert to stumble repeatedly throughout the shooting of the film.
Robert practices kung-fu with a trainer on a daily basis.
Robert released his debut album, The Futurist November 23, 2004.
Rankings & List Appearances:
• 2000 - People Magazine's Sexiest Lawyer, for his role on Ally McBeal
• 2008 - Entertainment Weekly magazine's Entertainer of the Year
• 2008 - No.89, AfterElton.com's Hot 100 Men
• 2009 - No.12-14, Forbes magazine: Hollywood's Top Earning Actors 2008-2009, tied with Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington
• 2009 - No.21, Premiere.com's 40 Most Handsome Hollywood Men (Right Now)
• 2009 - No.3, Empire Magazine's Sexiest Movie Star (Male)
In 2008, Robert was nominated for a Satellite Award in the catagory of "Best Actor in a Supporting Role" for Tropic Thunder.
Robert has the words "Suzie Q" tattooed on his left bicep.
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 CD.
Peter O'Toole is Robert's favorite actor.
Robert is 5' 9" (1.75 m) tall. He has dark brown hair and light brown eyes.
Robert's friends call him "Bob."
Robert enjoyed working with the director of the Elton John music video (Sam Taylor Wood) so much that he suggested they work together again on an art piece. The result was an art video called "Pietà," made in the manner of Michelangelo's famous religious Pietà in Rome. It was displayed at the White Cube 2 art gallery in London, November 23 to January 12, 2002.
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.
After dating her for only 42 days, Robert married his first wife, Deborah Falconer, on May 29, 1992. They had one child, Indio (b. September 7, 1993) before separating in 1996, in part due to Downey's drug problems, and got divorced on April 26, 2004.
In a symbolic attempt to "bury" his decadent 1980's brat pack image and begin a new phase of his life and career after filming Chaplin in 1991, Robert buried the clothes he wore in 1987's Less Than Zero in the back yard of his house.
Robert kept a lot of the authentic vintage clothing he wore in the movie Chaplin.
Robert's father was born with the surname Elias, and is of half Jewish and half Irish ancestry. His mother is of German and Scottish descent.
Downey, Jr. took daily drug tests during the filming of Two Girls and a Guy. In July 2009, he celebrated a five-year milestone when he received his five-year-chip at AA.
Robert attended Stagedoor Manor.
For seven years during the 1980s, Robert lived with then-girlfriend actress Sarah Jessica Parker.
Robert was credited by critics and fans with being the one thing to revitalize Ally McBeal. The series was thought to have gotten stale, but his performance as Larry Paul helped the show gain many more viewers.
On February 2, 1998, Robert got into fight with another inmate at the Los Angeles County Jail where he was serving time for a probation violation. He was treated for a cut over his nose.
Robert starred in Elton John video "I Want Love" in 2001. He lip-synced Elton's lyrics.
Robert: The best thing I can do, and I think this is the thing that's been my saving grace, is consider myself a worker amongst workers. When I deviate from that, things just don't turn out so sweet for me.
Robert: I've seen a bunch of movies where you think, here comes the big action sequence and there's the explosion and... That's when I go off to get more popcorn because I know the guys at the CGI studio or the stunt guys have taken over and I'm not following the story any more.
Robert: (on playing "Sherlock Holmes" and comparing his portrayal to those to play the role before him) In case you aren't aware I had a hell of a summer, and it's made me much more viable to play a lead role than I might have been in the past. And clearly I'm going to do it better than it's ever been done before.
Robert: (On doing the movie "Iron Man") I'm not a kid anymore externally, and if you're going to do something like this, you want to do it while there's a very low embarrassment factor age-wise.
Robert: I think I've been lucky, being my frequent appearances on Court TV have brought to me another level than just the actor guy. There's no pedestal thing happening. I'm very tangible to people because my fallibility is my forte.
Robert: A marriage is not easy. It would be stupid if you woke up one morning to find that you are the challenge. Then the person is no longer in love with you and it would probably be the end of the relationship. But I got the right gal.
Robert: I'm not a poster boy for good behavior and recovery in Hollywood. I'm just a guy who knows he has a lot to be grateful for.
Robert: Life is 70% maintenance. I think of myself as a shopkeeper or a beekeeper. I'm learning the business of building a life. Instead of getting instant gratification by getting high, I push my nose as far into the grindstone as I can. The honey, the reward, is the feeling of well-being, the continuity, the sense that I am walking toward a place I want to go.
Robert: I use to be so convinced that happiness was the goal, yet all those years I was chasing after it, I was unhappy in my pursuit. Maybe the goal really should be a life that values honor, duty, good work, friends, and family.
Robert: Almost every day, I change at least three times. If I go away for a weekend, I swear to God I need the biggest Samsonite you can imagine.
Robert: Not to get all Michael Jackson on you, but I didn't really have a childhood. So I kind of fit it in between 28 and 37.
Robert: (On his addiction to drugs) It's like I have a loaded gun in my mouth, and I like the taste of metal.
Robert: (on the secret to his success; in a 2009 interview) It's pretty simple. As long as what you're working on is feeding you more than it's draining you, everything is cool. My motto, creatively speaking, is if you see fear, then head straight for it.
Robert: (On why people have helped him through his battle with drug addiction) ...maybe people sense my heart's in the right place.