The Internet’s Wishing Robert Downey Jr. A Happy Birthday

Iron Man

Today marks the 56th birthday of Robert Downey Jr., and it would be an understatement to say it’s been a pretty wild ride for the actor so far. Having made his onscreen debut in his father’s 1970 comedy Pound, he’s got more than half a century in the business under his belt, during which time there have been plenty of ups and downs.

RDJ’s lengthy career saw him get break as a cast member on Saturday Night Live in 1985, where he starred in sixteen episodes before parlaying his comic talents onto the big screen in the likes of Weird Science, Back to School and The Pick-up Artist, before moving into dramatic territory and scoring an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor after headlining biopic Chaplin in 1992.

The rest of the decade saw Downey Jr.’s career begin to fade as his personal demons continued to get the better of him, leading to a string of drug-related incidents, arrests and stints in rehab, which even nixed his comeback when he was fired from his Golden Globe winning role on Ally McBeal, and by the early 2000s he was virtually uninsurable. It was his longtime friend Mel Gibson that gave him a chance by offering to pay his buddy’s insurance so he could star in The Singing Detective, which led to a chain of events that culminated in a spectacular return to the A-list.

He met producer Joel Silver on Gothika, which led to him securing the lead in Shane Black’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and his phenomenal turn caught the eye of Jon Favreau, who thought Downey Jr. would be an inspired choice to play Tony Stark in a blockbuster movie he was directing for the upstart Marvel Studios. Fans have now taken to social media to pay tribute to the erstwhile Iron Man on his birthday, and you can check out some of the reactions below.

It’s been a long road back to the top for Robert Downey Jr., but having conquered his troubles a long time ago, he’s now entering the latest chapter of his career with the Marvel Cinematic Universe firmly behind him and an exciting uncharted future ahead.