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Robert Downey Jr. in the Iron Man Avengers franchises
Before Downey signed on to play Tony Stark and secured his path to becoming the world’s most bankable action star, he was — by his own admission — an unreliable actor and a box office failure. Not even 10 years ago, who would have pegged the fringe Brat Packer and Chaplin Oscar nominee to lead the charge on a series of Marvel franchises (just one film of which, The Avengers, personally earned him $50 million) that show no signs of slowing down? Nobody, we’re guessing. And yet that’s what Iron Man did for Downey, making him professionally unbeatable just like Stark’s alter ego.
July 7 2014 — 12:00 AM EDT