Happy Birthday Robert Downey, Jr! 5 Cool Facts About The Man Behind The Iron Suit

Robert Downey, Jr turns a ripe age of 49 today but the iron man is definitely far from rusty. With multiple projects, including the next Avengers coming our way, Downey has become one of the few Hollywood elites whose accomplishments in the industry will be extremely difficult to ignore.

Many Hollywood performers around Downey’s age begin to fall out of the limelight, playing parent roles in sitcoms or side characters for much younger stars. But not Robert! Downey’s tenacity – despite almost a decade of personal problems – have proven strong enough to strap itself onto the shaky foundations of Hollywood stardom and land a superhero movie that will rake in billions of dollars in ticket sales and merchandise.

To celebrate the awesome life behind the iron suit, here are five cool facts about Robert Downey, Jr.

1. He started acting at the age of five

No wonder Robert’s so good at what he does; he’s been doing it since he was five! His first role was in the movie Pound, a movie about dogs where Robert played the role of a puppy. Additional fact: his father, Robert Downey, Sr wrote and directed the film where his son made his acting debut.

2. He only made 500K for the first Iron Man movie

The first Iron Man earned more than half a billion dollars from ticket sales alone, but according to Celebrity Net Worth, the movie’s main man only got 500K for the role of Tony Stark. Terrence Howard even reportedly earned more than Robert Downey, Jr on the same movie.

But don’t worry, guys. His following movies will make Downey almost as rich as the superhero he plays. For the Avengers alone, Robert snagged a $50 million cut from the earnings.

3. He practices Kung Fu

Robert, who during most of his life experienced heavy bouts with drug use, found refuge in an unusual shelter: the mysterious art of Wing Chun Kung Fu. Robert told The Guardian that one of the reasons he got out of the drug scene was his involvement with Wing Chun, an ancient martial art that emphasizes on relaxation and balance in movement and form.

4. He was a Saturday Night Live cast member

Many people know that Robert hosted Saturday Night Live in 1996. However, a lot of people forget that Robert was once a regular cast member for the popular late night comedy. In 1985 to 1986, Robert was a member of the SNL lineup which included Joan Cusack, Dennis Quaid and the very first regular African-American woman performer in SNL, Danitra Vance.

5. He volunteers for charity

Robert’s passion for helping others may have helped him land his role as the playboy philanthropist Tony Stark. When not busy with shooting and appearances, Robert lends his hand to a couple of good-willed organizations. Last year, he actively supported Police Athletic League to help those devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Happy Birthday Robert Downey, Jr! Inquisitr wishes you all the best.

[Images from Flickr]