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Robert Downey Jr. Then And Now: Childhood Films, Saturday Night Live Days And More

Posted on May 6, 2013 by

Robert Downey Jr. Then And Now

Thank you, Hollywood, for not keeping Robert Downey Jr’s smolder hidden behind a helmet for the entire Iron Man trilogy. That would definitely be a crime worthy of an Avengers-style beatdown. Let’s celebrate the latest chapter in the blockbuster series with some vintage RDJ cuteness.

He was an N.Y.C. baby

RDJ Baby

Robert John Downey Jr. was born in Manhattan’s trendy Greenwich Village neighbourhood on April 4, 1965. He got his great looks from his showbiz parents, director Robert Downey Sr. (Lion King-ing RDJ above) and singer Elsie Ford.

His film debut is adorable

Daddy Downey gave RDJ his first film role in his 1970 film Pound. Lil Downey has a very, erm, naughty line for a five-year-old! You’ll see what I mean . . .

He helped his director dad

RDJ at 15

RDJ moved to L.A. with his dad and kept up acting in his dad’s films. Two years after playing this muddy soccer kid in the 1980 comedy Up The Academy, RDJ got his dad’s blessing  to try to make it as an actor back in N.Y.C.

He made bullies lovable

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHKH7a-FqlE?rel=0]

At 20, RDJ got his first break in Weird Science, a 1985 nerd power movie about two high schoolers whose experiments somehow turn a doll into the babe of their dreams. RDJ may be the bully of film, but how could you say no to those eyes?

RDJ Weird Science

He was on Saturday Night Live?!

RDJ on Saturday Night Live

As an SNL geek, I had a fangirl attack when I found out Downey was a cast member from 1985 to 1986. NBC are the worst at removing show clips from YouTube, so they could at least make up for the void by letting RDJ host sometime soon. HINT HINT.

First lead role!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmlrfhsLYl8?rel=0]

RDJ first got his Tony Stark on in The Pick-Up Artist when he was 22. The 1987 romcom had Downey chasing after Molly Ringwald, the definitive ’80s babe, but I can totally see her as a young Pepper Potts.

An Iron Man 

RDJ Iron Man

Before saving the world, RDJ had to save himself. Over the ’90s and early 2000s, Downey’s drug abuse got him into the tabloids and even in prison for a year. Now 48, Downey is clean and a blockbuster machine with two Oscar noms, two Golden Globes and three franchises under his belt (Avengers, Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes). How’s that for a superhero redemption?


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