Robert Downey Jr. is as famous these days for Tony Stark and Iron Man as he was for his many arrests on drug charges in the late 1990s. He has an incredible story, but just how did he go from drug addiction and prison to internationally acclaimed actor, with a list of films to his name that have so far made him one of the highest-grossing stars of all time?In 2007 director Jon Favreau took a chance and cast Robert as Tony Stark, the genius inventor and CEO of Stark Industries in Iron Man.

His faith in the actor was well founded. Iron Man was released in April 2008 and was an immediate hit, grossing over $585 million worldwide, and set Robert on a path that would see him reprise the character in a wealth of films for Marvel Studios. Following the success of the first film, Robert signed up for two Iron Man sequels, as part of a broader franchise that would go on to include the hugely popular Avengers films.

Robert demonstrated his diversity and love for comedy when he joined Ben Stiller and Jack Black in Tropic Thunder (2008). Directed by Ben Stiller, the film focuses on three self-obsessed Hollywood actors caught up in a Vietnam-war film. Robert played Australian method actor Kirk Lazarus and received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

The following year, Guy Ritchie cast Robert in the title role of Sherlock Holmes (2009), with Jude Law as his Dr Watson. Sherlock Holmes was released on Christmas Day in 2009 and broke the record for a Christmas release, becoming the 8th highest-grossing film of the year. A sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, was released in 2011 and a third is rumoured to be currently in pre-production.

Find out more about Rbert Downey Jr by watching our biograhy on YouTube.