Robert Downey Jr. Net Worth

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Robert Downey Jr. is an actor who has had a long and storied career in the movie industry. Once known for his drug addiction, he came back to the world of acting with a bang when he was cast as Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man film. 

Since then, RDJ has reprised the role several times on top of starring in several other successful films like Sherlock Holmes (2009. 

But did you know he was quite popular before all the unfortunate events in his life? In fact, Robert has been a great actor since his beginnings, and the difficulties to reach the current success just brought him down. 

In addition to a hard life, it isn’t weird to expect that he was unable to keep the money for himself, especially with an addiction being the main cause of misfortune. 

Today, we will be going on over the entire life of this great actor and help you understand a bit more how much he earned back then but, more importantly, how much he is worth in 2021. 

Who Is Robert Downey Jr.? – Well-Needed Introduction

Before jumping to his career today, it is only natural to start with the very first part.

Robert Downey, Jr. was born in New York City on April 4, 1965, and is the son of Robert Downey Sr., an actor, writer, and director, and Elsie Ann Downey.

His mother was an actress who appeared many times in her husband’s films. What many people don’t know is that RDJ also has an older sister, Allyson Downey.

The family lived in Greenwich Village. Downey Sr., a drug addict, allowed his six-year-old son to experiment with marijuana. Thus, his introduction to drugs was quite early in his life and continued for decades.

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In 1978, Downey was now the son of divorced parents. As a result, he moved to California with his father. There, he attended Santa Monica High School simultaneously, Holly Robinson-Peete, Charlie Sheen, Ramon Estevez, and Renee Estevez were attending the institution. 

However, he decided to drop it in 1982 and returned to New York City to pursue a full-time acting career after being introduced to the industry when he was five by taking minor roles in his father’s films. 

Going back to those years, Robert lived in England when he was ten and years prior as well as later ones included several lessons and classes as part of an extensive curriculum set by his parents. These included ballet classes. 

After leaving high school, Downey was a theatre actor who had many roles before landing a job in “Saturday Night Live” in the mid-1980s. 

He was joined by Nora Dunn and Joan Cusack and Terry Sweeney, and Randy Quaid in the role. All the cast members who were hired for 1985’s “SNL” season were fired after the show received very bad ratings. 

Followed by the flop of the show, Downey starred as a bully at high school in John Hughes’ 1985 “Weird Science.” 

He played Julian Wells in 1987’s “Less Than Zero” as the drug-addicted, rich kid. He was a star in “Chances Are” (1989), and his counterpart in the film was Cybill Shepherd.

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In 1990, he was in “Air America,” opposite Mel Gibson. And in “Soapdish,” in 1991 with Sally Field, Whoopi Goldberg, and Kevin Kline. Downey appeared in Charlie Chaplin’s film “Chaplin” in 1992. 

For his role in “Chaplin,” he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar and marked a big success for the actor who started low but rose thanks to hard work. 

When Problems Began: Drug Addiction

Although the addiction never stopped since his father’s introduction to it, which RDJ describes in the early years as a way of Downey Sr. to show love, “a very messed one, though,” the fall down of the actor started back in his role for “Less Than Zero.”

Starring as a drug-addicted kid, he felt more than identified with the character, and, at the time, he was taking drugs after every scene, on the weekends, and just as part of the routine. 

This moment was one of the darkest for the actor as he attended rehabilitation, which didn’t work out most of the time. 

However, following his success like in the previous section and his role in “Chaplin,” no one would think the actor was struggling. 

He was arrested on drug charges a few times between 1996 and 2001. Among the charges, he was arrested for possession of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. 

He tried several drug rehabilitation programs, but each time he relapsed. 

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Downey was speeding down Sunset Boulevard in April 1996 when police stopped him. He was found with heroin, cocaine, and an unloaded .357 Magnum pistol. He was taken into custody. 

Downey, who was on parole for a month, entered a neighbor’s home while under the influence and then went to sleep in his neighbor’s bed. He was placed on probation for three years and ordered to submit to drug testing. 

In 1997, he failed one of the court-ordered drugs tests and was sent to L.A. County Jail for six months. He was again arrested two years later after he failed another drug test. 

He was sentenced to three years in California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (State Prison). He was released after spending nearly a year in a Substance Abuse Treatment Facility. He also posted $5,000 bail and was eligible to be released early, which was exactly what happened. 

He joined “Ally McBeal” a week after his release. For the role, he won a Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actor in Mini-Series or Television Film. 

However, despite his successful return, Downey was found intoxicated and in possession of cocaine and Valium during Thanksgiving weekend in 2000. 

An LAPD officer found Downey wandering Culver City naked in April 2001. Under suspicion of using controlled substances, he was taken into custody. Although he was found to have cocaine in the system, he was released just a few hours later. 

He was then fired from Ally McBeal. He was again sent to drug rehab and placed on probation for three more years.

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Success After a Downfall: Robert Downey Jr.’s Comeback

It is never easy to rehab from drug addiction, and after several attempts and relapses, many believed Downey Jr. was done for. 

However, after overcoming his drug addiction, he did his best to return to the film industry. Of course, it was not easy for Downey to relaunch his career. 

First, he was considered a big “NO” due to the expenses coming with him. Unlike what many believe, he was too expensive for production companies due to insurance companies and the prices assigned to him, which he could pay if he only had the money. 

In addition, filmmakers weren’t interested in him nor wanted to go over the same pattern as in previous years. 

Fortunately, Mel Gibson, Downey’s friend from “Air America,” was there for him and is the one who made possible the second half of his career. 

Gibson paid Downey’s insurance bond directly for “The Singing Detective.” Other filmmakers were open to hiring Downey again after completing the film without any problems and recognizing how the actor had changed. 

In 2007, he got the role that would change it all when he got the chance to play Tony Stark in “Iron Man.” 

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In 2008, Iron Man’s first film was released. Critics highly praised his performance, and this was the era when fans couldn’t stop seeing the multimillionaire character to be Downey himself. 

Of course, landing the role was difficult enough as Disney was unsure about hiring the actor. However, a particular Marvel executive, in having him after his audition, argued he was perfect. 

Following the success of the film and how this would start the big franchise today, he was also a part of the “Iron Man 2” in 2010 and “Iron Man 3” in 2013, as well as “The Incredible Hulk” (2008).

The rest of the story is quite known since he continued to appear in the following Marvel Cinematic Universe films. “Captain America: Civil War,” “The Avengers,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and over five other movies for the franchise. 

Downey was also a part of the comedy “Tropic Thunder,” for which he was nominated for the Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor. 

Downey was also cast in the iconic role of Sherlock Holmes in the 2009 film, and he has re-enacted his role in 2011 for “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” and is currently scheduled to reprise it in a third film. 

New production projects, films, and opportunities have followed the actor over the years and since his big comeback, considered the most shocking in Hollywood to this date. 

However, he wouldn’t have been able to do it without some particular help. 

Robert’s personal life influenced a lot on his rehab and growth, but this was just after a tough journey as well.

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The actor was first married to Deborah Falconer, actress and singer, in 1992. However, the marriage was ended in 2001 by Downey’s drug abuse and numerous trips to rehab. 

Falconer took Indio, their 1993-born son, with her. In 2004, Downey and Falconer split officially after the divorce was settled. 

However, Downey met Susan Levin in 2003. She was a film executive who was on the set for “Gothika.” He asked her twice for a date, but she refused. 

After so much pursue and the fact she could not deny their chemistry, she agreed to date him. Downey proposed to Levin on November 30, 2003, just before Levin’s 30th birthday. 

The main condition for Levin to accept the marriage was for him to work on his addiction. If anything happened, she would leave him without second thoughts. 

After accepting, they were married in 2005, and the rest is history as Robert indeed kept his promise. Their son Exton was born in February 2012, and their daughter Avri was conceived in November 2014.

Since July 2003, Downey has been sober and free from alcohol and drugs. His wife, Susan Downey, is the one who helped him overcome his addictions with more than an “ultimatum.” 

He often attributes his rehab and returns to all the support of the love of his life.

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Robert Downey Jr. Salary: How Much Is the Actor Worth?

After the ups and downs in his career and life, he reached a point where money wasn’t a problem; drugs were after spending most of the money on them. 

However, focusing on the highlights after his comeback, which is why you’re here, the numbers are quite impressive. 

For the film that took him back to the minds of producers, he barely received decent pay. But considering the idea of the role was to put him on the list of actors, it worked out quite well. 

Now, for “Iron Man” in 2008, he was paid $500,000 for the role, which would turn out to be a very small sum for the coming earnings. 

In 2010, he was paid $10 million for “Iron Man 2” and $12 million for his role in “Due Date.”

In 2011, his role for “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” earned him another $15 million. 

The continuous appearances in Marvel movies added several million to his bank account, but if we have to focus on the main ones behind his fortune today, we need to go all the way from “Iron Man 3”: 

  • “Iron Man 3” – $75 million.
  • “The Avengers” – $50 million + $10 million base + $40 million bonus.
  • “Avengers: Age of Ultron” – $40 million.
  • “Captain America: Civil War” – $40 million.
  • “Spider-Man Homecoming” – $15 million.

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For the last two films, “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: End Game,” Downey got quite the pay. The first reported him $40 million, while the second part increased his pay to $75 million. 

Many don’t consider that he received bonuses and a percentage based on the films’ revenue and net profit. 

This means he earned about $100 million considering the success of the last film. 

Thanks to this, Robert’s fortune stands at $320 million, and besides the net worth, he has several real estate properties. 

Over $45 million has been spent on properties alone. With a $4 million home in Santa Monica, $13.44 million estate in Malibu, and more commercial and residential ones in Venice, California, and Manhattan Beach, Robert’s portfolio continues growing every year. 

All this together makes him one of the highest-paid actors as his base salary is set at $35+ million.

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Charity Work: Robert Is a Real-Life Superhero

If there’s something people know about the actor isn’t only how good he is as Iron Man and other characters, but also in real life. 

He has influenced several rehab centers and contributed actively to over 12 different organizations to help with drug addiction after his past. 

Downey also sets several charity campaigns for purposes that range from helping children with rare diseases to supporting COVID-19 efforts and the medical team involved. 

Several of the charitable events hosted and initiated by the actor have been connected to the premiere of the Marvel films. 

He often set the opportunity to attend the premieres with him after donating a specific amount to the specific reason established for the occasion. Donations could be as low as $10 to participate. 

All the donations and charities he has started helped raise over $50 million, and reports show how the money has been used for the designated purposes. 

Of course, he also helps direct charities like Make A Wish Foundation, March of Dimes, Midnight Mission, ALS Association, Robin Hood, and many others. 

He either donates thousands and millions or takes part in the image and host of the events.

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Many people don’t believe it, but Robert has been quite the person helping others, and besides his work as an actor, people can’t avoid loving him because of this. 

In addition, he encourages fellow coworkers and friends like Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and many others from “The Avengers” movie to take part in the events.

5 Iconic Quotes by Robert Downey Jr.

  • “The lesson is that you can still make mistakes and be forgiven.”
  • “Maybe the goal really should be a life that values honor, duty, good work, friends, and family.”
  • “Do I want to be a hero to my son? No. I would like to be a very real human being. That’s hard enough.”
  • “Look, even bad years are pretty good years, I think.”
  • “I think it’s miraculous that anybody survives themselves.”

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