Robert Downey Jr. received birthday well-wishes from his Marvel co-stars, as the actor celebrated his 53rd birthday.
Chris Evans, Gwyneth Paltrow and Tom Holland were among the stars to send him birthday messages on April 4.
Gwyneth Paltrow shared her birthday wish on Instagram, posting a photo of her, Tom Holland (who plays Spider-Man) and the birthday boy with the caption: “I love April 4th because it was the day god gave us @robertdowneyjr HAPPY BIRTHDAY, dear heart. Love me and that other guy in the photo.”
Paltrow played Pepper Potts, Downey Jr.’s love interest in the Iron Man films. She will reprise her role in the film Avengers: Infinity War.
The new film reunites the cast of Marvel heroes as they join forces to take on Thanos, the galactic warlord played by Josh Brolin.
The actor himself posted a message on Twitter that included his three birthday wishes:
“Today’s birthday treat is a triple threat. My wishes are as follows: 1st to support @ROHHAD_GLOBAL (go to http://crowdrise.com/rdj to donate). 2ndly watch me eat my car cake and 3rdly lay your eyes on the new #InfinityWar character posters!”
It’s been a tough road for Downey Jr. Before his iconic role as Iron Man, he had a reputation in Hollywood for being unreliable and had a history of drug abuse. Director Jon Favreau fought for the actor to take on the role of Tony Stark.
A decade later, the actor will be paid nearly $100 million for his role in the upcoming film Avengers: Infinity War.
The actor was arrested several times in the 80s for possession of heroin, cocaine and marijuana. He says he was exposed to drugs at an early age by his father. Robert Downey Sr., filmmaker, introduced him to cigarettes and marijuana before he was a teenager. The actor had three stints in rehab by 1987.
Things spiraled out of control in 1996, when he was pulled over by police and found to be carrying a .357 Magnum, heroin and large amounts of cocaine. He was found collapsed in his neighbor’s home, unconscious after a bender – and before he was sentenced for those crimes.
In the coming years, Downey, Jr. would spend several months in different facilities and a year in prison. He was arrested twice after being let out on parole in 2000.
After his last arrest in 2001, the actor told Oprah, “You know what? I don’t think I can continue doing this.’ And I reached out for help, and I ran with it. You can reach out for help in kind of a half-assed way and you’ll get it and you won’t take advantage of it. It’s not that difficult to overcome these seemingly ghastly problems… what’s hard is to decide to do it.”
The actor would go on to star in a series of acclaimed independent films, but it was his role as Iron Man that earned him the reputation of being everyone’s favorite superhero.