Robert Downey Jr: Iron Man actor tops Hollywood's earnings list for second year
22 JULY 2014
Just over a decade ago, Robert Downey Jr regularly hit the headlines for his chaotic lifestyle. Now the Iron Man star is Hollywood's highest paid actor, topping the Forbes table for a second year running, with earnings of $75million (£43m) from June 2013 to June 2014.
Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man films have put him in top spot for two years running
Most of that comes from Iron Man 3, which took $1.2 billion (£702m) at the box office. The Marvels comic character has appeared in other superhero flicks including the Avengers series.
In second place is Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, who made $52million (£30m) after starring in G.I. Joe: Retaliation and the Fast and Furious films. Third is Bradley Cooper, star of the Hangover franchise, followed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Thor star Chris Hemsworth.
Yet, it's Robert's story that is most compelling. Even given the rollercoaster that is Hollywood, it is an astonishing reversal of fortunes. For years he was in and out of rehab and prison.
Robert Downey Jr cleaned up his act after his wife told him she wouldn't date an addict
Then in July 2003, with the help of his second wife Susan he cleaned up his act, without losing any of his madcap energy. They got married in 2005 after she told him to stay on the straight and narrow or lose her.
Of their union, Robert, 49, says: "There's no understanding for me of the bigger picture in real time in a hands-on way without her.
"Because it was the perfect, perfect, perfect matching of personalities and gifts."
He works relentlessly to be worthy of Susan, who is a movie producer, and takes pride in being a good provider. As the former hellraiser, explained to one interviewer in his own inimitable way: "Mama needs a new pair of shoes, dude".