He starred as the title character in the 1992 film Chaplin, which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor and won him the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
For three consecutive years from 2012 to 2015, Downey topped the Forbes list of Hollywood's highest-paid actors, making an estimated million in earnings between June 2014 and June 2015.
He made his acting debut at the age of five, playing a sick puppy in the absurdist comedy Pound (1970), and then at seven appeared in the surrealist Greaser's Palace (1972).
He attended the Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in upstate New York as a teenager.
and went several times through drug treatment programs unsuccessfully, explaining in 1999 to a judge: "It's like I have a shotgun in my mouth, and I've got my finger on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gun metal." He explained his relapses by claiming to have been addicted to drugs since the age of eight, due to the fact that his father, also an addict, had been giving them to him.
In April 1996, Downey was arrested for possession of heroin, cocaine and an unloaded .357 Magnum handgun while he was speeding down Sunset Boulevard.