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5 Facts About Robert Downey Jr. Before His Iconic ‘Iron Man’ Era

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We all know and love Robert Downey Jr. from Iron Man, but how well do we really know him? From his public substance abuse problems to his many Oscar nods, Downey Jr. always keeps his fans on their toes. Here are the five of the most bizarre facts that you probably didn’t know about RDJ.

robert downey jr

Mark Davis/Getty Images

His Parents Were Hippies

Growing up in the ’70s was a crazy time, and Robert Downey Jr.’s childhood was no exception. His parents, a writer-actress and a filmmaker, dealt with major substance abuse issues at that time. They even let young Downey Jr. party with them and allowed him to try marijuana when he was just six years old.

He Dropped Out Of High School

Since both of his parents were in the biz, his family spent a lot of time moving around to support their careers. He spent time in London studying ballet, in New York City learning acting, and in California studying drama. When his own career took off, he made the difficult choice to drop out of his studies at Santa Monica High School in 1982.

He Was On ‘SNL’ For One Season

Widely remembered as Saturday Night Live’s worst season, the doomed cast of its 11th season included Robert Downey Jr. Unfortunately, this brief comedy stint placed Downey Jr. at the bottom of the list of SNL cast members. Rolling Stone quipped that “making him unfunny stands as SNL’s most towering achievement.”

His Ex-Girlfriend Was Sarah Jessica Parker

One of the most obscure facts about the Avengers star is that he used to date SJP in the ’80s. Apparently, the two met on the set of the 1984 film Firstborn. Alas, the pair was already broken up by 1991 due to Downey Jr.’s addiction problems. So sad!

sarah jessica parker

photo by Newsmakers-Hulton Archive

He’s A Buddhist

Once he rehabilitated from his substance abuse issues, Downey Jr. found peace by practicing Eastern religion. He’s a huge fan of meditation and Wing Chun Kung Fu. The practices have allegedly given him a new lease on life and has helped him to remain focused. We’re excited to see what this talented actor does next!

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