Last Updated: May 20, 2024
Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$300 Million
Apr 4, 1965 (59 years old)
5 ft 8 in (1.74 m)
Actor, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Singer-songwriter, Comedian
United States of America
💰 Compare Robert Downey Jr.'s Net Worth

What is Robert Downey, Jr.'s Net Worth?

Robert Downey Jr. is an American actor, producer, and singer who has a net worth of $300 million. Robert Downey Jr. is probably most widely recognized today for his role as "Iron Man," in the Marvel cinematic universe. As we detail in the next section below, playing Iron Man earned Robert an enormous fortune and made him one of the highest-paid actors in the history of Hollywood.

Robert Downey Jr. has had some incredible ups and downs in both his personal and professional lives. Always recognized as a brilliant actor, he also had a penchant for partying too hard and a nasty habit of drinking and/or drugging himself into a stupor.  Unfortunately, his lifestyle caught up with him and derailed his career. After jail time and multiple trips to rehab, he finally got himself straightened out.  The last ten years have seen him shoot to the top of the A-list in Hollywood, appearing in such hit projects as the "Sherlock Holmes" franchise, the "Iron Man" franchise, "The Soloist," "Tropic Thunder," the surprise independent hit, "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints," and "Kiss Kiss Bang, Bang," among many others. On March 10, 2024, Robert won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the movie "Oppenheimer."

Key Facts
  • Was paid "just" $500,000 for the first "Iron Man"
  • Earned $10 million for Iron Man 2
  • With backend points, earned $70 million for the third Iron Man
  • Earned a total of $345.5 million playing Iron Man in the various Marvel movies
  • Owns $50 million worth of real estate
  • Paid $13 million in 2009 for a 7 acre Malibu estate
  • Owns at least one other Malibu house
  • Owns a beachfront home in Manhattan Beach, Ca

How much did Robert Downey, Jr. Make Playing Iron Man?

Robert famously earned "just" $500,000 to appear in the first "Iron Man," which was released in 2008. His co-star Terrence Howard would later reveal a bit more of the background on how Robert landed the part and why he earned such a small salary. Terrence Howard was actually the first lead-actor cast in the movie. Terrence signed-on to the do the movie with a 3-movie Marvel deal which would have paid him $4.5 million for his first Marvel movie, $8 million for his second and $12 million for his third. Terrence has claimed that he learned early on that the producers were intending to offer the role of Iron Man to Clive Owen. Robert Downey Jr. reached out to Terrence and begged for help to get an audition. According to Howard, the film's producers refused to consider Downey because he was very expensive to insure, due to his previous personal life controversies. According to Howard, he offered to shave $1 million from his salary, of which $500,000 would go to Downey's paycheck and $500,000 would cover his insurance costs. And the rest was history.

After the enormous success of the 2010 sequel, Robert wisely negotiated a very important salary requirement pertaining to future Marvel movies. The deal entitles Robert to earn a significant cut of profits whenever he appears onscreen as Tony Stark or his super-powered alter ego Iron Man in ANY Marvel movie. For his appearance in 2012's "The Avengers," he made $50 million, which was more than 10-20X the salary earned by his A-List co-stars. Even for his relatively brief role in 2017's "Spider-Man: Homecoming," Robert earned $15 million, for what amounted to three total days of work. He earned $75 million for the third "Iron Man" in 2013. That same year, GQ Magazine asked Robert about his enormous Iron Man paydays. Here's what he had to say:

GQ: Is that number [$50 million] about right?

RDJ: "Yeah." he says, smiling. "Isn't that crazy? They're so pissed. I can't believe it. I'm what's known as a strategic cost.'"

Below is a breakdown of Robert Downey Jr.'s salary and total earnings for his work in the Marvel Universe:

  • "Iron Man 1" (2008): $500,000
  • "Iron Man 2" (2010): $10 million
  • "Iron Man 3" (2013): $75 million
  • "The Avengers" (2012): $10 million base + $40 million backend bonus = $50 million
  • "Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015): $40 million
  • "Captain America: Civil War" (2016): $40 million
  • "Spider-Man: Homecoming" (2017): $15 million
  • "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018): $75 million
  • "Avengers: Endgame" (2019): $75 million

Total: $380.5 million

Getty Images

Early Life

Robert Downey, Jr. was born on April 4, 1965, in New York City. His father Robert Downey Sr., was a writer, actor, and director. His mother, Elsie Ann Downey, was an actress who appeared in many of her husband's films. Downey Jr. has an older sister, Allyson. The family lived in Greenwich Village. Downey Sr. was a drug addict who allowed his son to try marijuana when he was only six years old.

The last name, "Downey," actually comes from Robert Sr.'s stepfather. Robert Sr. was born Robert John Elias, Jr. After Robert Sr.'s parents divorced, his mother married a man named James Downey. Even after this marriage, Robert continued to go by his birth name. It wasn't until the early 1950s, when he wanted to join the Army but was underage, that Robert listed his name as "Robert Downey," with the hope that his true age would go unnoticed. The trick worked, and from that point on, he went by "Robert Downey." He was not known as "Robert Downey, Jr" at this point because his legal last name was still "Elias." Robert became "Robert Downey Sr." only after naming his own son "Robert Downey" at his birth in 1965.

Robert Downey Sr. and Elise Ann divorced in 1975 when Robert was nine years old. After the divorce, Robert and he moved to California with his father. He subsequently attended Santa Monica High School at the same time as fellow future actors Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen, Holly Robinson-Peete, Ramon Estevez, Renee Estevez, and Dean Cain. Downey dropped out of high school in 1982 and moved back to New York City to pursue an acting career.


Downey had a number of roles in theatre before landing a job as part of the new, younger cast hired for "Saturday Night Live" in the mid-1980s alongside Joan Cusack, Nora Dunn, Anthony Michael Hall, Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller, Randy Quaid, Terry Sweeney, and Danita Vance. The 1985-1986 "SNL" season got terrible ratings, and all the new cast members hired in 1985 were fired. In 1985, Downey Jr. played a high school bully in John Hughes' "Weird Science." In 1987, he played Julian Wells, the drug-addicted rich kid in "Less Than Zero." From there, he went on to star in 1989's "Chances Are" opposite Cybill Shepherd, in 1990's "Air America" opposite Mel Gibson, and in 1991's "Soapdish" with Sally Field, Whoopi Goldberg, and Kevin Kline. In 1992, he starred as Charlie Chaplin in "Chaplin." He was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for his role in "Chaplin."

Drug Issues

Downey's career hit a rough patch when his drug use got out of control. From 1996 to 2001, he was arrested a number of times on drug charges. He was found to be in possession of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana at various times. He entered a number of drug rehab programs but relapsed each time. In April 1996, Downey was speeding down Sunset Boulevard and pulled over. He was found to be in possession of heroin, cocaine, and an unloaded .357 Magnum handgun. He was arrested. A month later, Downey was out on parole, and he entered a neighbor's house while under the influence of something and went to sleep in one of his neighbor's beds. He was given three years of probation and mandated to undergo drug testing. He missed one of the court-ordered drug tests in 1997 and was sent to the L.A. County jail for six months. Two years later, he missed another drug test and was arrested again. This time, he was sentenced to three years in prison at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison. He spent nearly a year at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility, posted $5,000 bail, and was eligible for early release.

A week after his release from prison, he joined the cast of "Ally McBeal." He won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a mini-series or television film for the role. Over the Thanksgiving weekend in 2000, Downey was arrested while intoxicated and in possession of cocaine and Valium. In April 2001, Downey was found wandering in Culver City barefoot by an LAPD officer. He was arrested under suspicion of being on a controlled substance. He was found to have cocaine in his system but was released a few hours later nonetheless. After this arrest, he was fired from "Ally McBeal." He was sent into drug rehab again and put on probation for three years.

Robert Downey Jr Net Worth

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Career Comeback

It wasn't easy for Downey to restart his career once he finally beat his drug demons. He was unhirable because the insurance companies used by productions assigned too high a price to Downey, and filmmakers were not interested in paying it for Downey. It was Mel Gibson, who had been Downey's friend since "Air America," who made the second half of Downey's career possible. He paid Downey's insurance bond personally for "The Singing Detective." When Downey successfully completed the film with no issues, other filmmakers were ready to hire him again.

Then, in 2007, he was given the role of a lifetime when he was cast as Tony Stark in "Iron Man." The first Iron Man film came out in the Spring of 2008. Downey was critically praised for his performance in Iron Man. He also appeared as Tony Stark in the two "Iron Man" sequels in 2010 and 2013, as well as 2008's "The Incredible Hulk," 2012's "The Avengers," 2015's "Avengers: Age of Ultron," 2016's "Captain America: Civil War," 2017's "Spider-Man: Homecoming," 2018's "Avengers: Infinity War" and 2019's "Avengers: Endgame."

Downey also appeared in the comedy "Tropic Thunder," for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Downey was cast as another famous character when he landed the role of Sherlock Holmes in the 2009 film of the same name. He's reprised his role as the famous fictional detective in 2011's "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," and he's slated to play Holmes again in a third film. He played the role of Dr. John Dolittle in 2020's "Dolittle."

In 2023, Downey appeared in Christopher Nolan's "Oppenheimer." On March 11, 2024, his work in "Oppenheimer" was rewarded with an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.


Personal Life

After a whirlwind 42-day courtship, Downey married actress and singer Deborah Falconer on May 29, 1992. Downey's drug use and many trips to rehab ended the marriage in 2001. Falconer left Downey and took their son Indio (born in 1993) with her. Downey and Falconer divorced in 2004.

In 2003, Downey met Susan Levin, a film executive on the set of "Gothika." She turned down his request for a date twice. Eventually, she could no longer deny the chemistry between them. Downey proposed to Levin on the night before her 30th birthday in November 2003. They married in 2005. In February 2012, their son Exton was born. In November 2014, their daughter Avri was born.

Downey has been sober from drugs and alcohol since July 2003. He credits his wife, Susan, with helping him overcome his addictions. Downey has been a member of 12-step recovery programs.

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Real Estate

Robert owns several homes in the Los Angeles area. His property portfolio is likely worth $40-50 million alone. In 2012, he paid $4 million for a home in Santa Monica, Ca. In 2009, he spent $13.44 million to buy a seven-acre estate in Malibu with equestrian facilities. He also owns a house in Malibu that he bought in 2017 for $4 million. He owns several residential and commercial properties in Venice, California, a $2.5 million home in the Pacific Palisades, and a beachfront home in Manhattan Beach.

Robert Downey Jr. Career Earnings

  • The Avengers
    once box-office bonuses and backend compensation are factored in
    $50 Million
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
    $15 Million
  • Due Date
    $12 Million
  • Iron Man 2
    $10 Million
  • Sherlock Holmes
    $9 Million
  • Iron Man
    $500 Thousand
  • Game 6
  • Danger Zone
    $500 Thousand
  • Richard III
    $50 Thousand
All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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