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Stating the Case: After a bout with drug addiction nearly torpedoed his career, Robert Downey Jr. has emerged as one of the most respected — and bankable — movie stars in the world. RDJ is one of the most creative and versatile actors, and he’s been terrific since his earliest credits ("Weird Science," "Back to School," "The Pick-Up Artist"). He spent a mostly unmemorable year as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” (1985-1986) before he seared the screen as drug-addled Julian in one of the top guilty pleasures of the ’80s (and that’s saying something), "Less Than Zero" (1987), and then became an official serious, Oscar-nominated thespian with his tour de force performance as The Tramp in "Chaplin" (1992). 

Following several arrests and even some prison time later in the ’90s, Downey crawled from the wreckage of his own life and booked several comeback gigs, including Shane Black’s excellent action comedy "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" (2005) and David Fincher’s haunting true-crime thriller "Zodiac" (2007). 

And then came 2008, the year in which he made his debut as billionaire industrialist-turned-crimefighting superhero Tony Stark in "Iron Man," and he became a full-fledged member of Hollywood’s A-list. That same summer, he delivered what became his second Oscar-nominated performance as ultra-Method movie star Kirk Lazarus in "Tropic Thunder," which was followed in 2009 with the title role in another hit franchise-to-be,"Sherlock Holmes." A few hit sequels later and now 49, Robert Downey Jr. is at the top of his game. 

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