Watch as Robert Downey Jr. Wins His First Oscar and Thanks His “Terrible Childhood”

From Pedro Pascal's confession of being “a little drunk” at the SAG Awards to Emma Stone pointing out the broken zipper on her dress while accepting her Oscar, the 2024 awards season has been filled with hilariously candid speeches. And after Robert Downey Jr. won his first Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Oppenheimer, he combined humor and humility as he delivered his own speech.

“I'd like to thank my terrible childhood, and the Academy, in that order,” Downey joked after thanking the presenters. “I’d like to thank my veterinarian—I meant wife, Susan Downey—over there. She found me a snarling rescue pet and you loved me back to life. That’s why I’m here. Thank you.”

Downey's early acting career was unfortunately marred by controversy as he struggled with a drug addiction and was often in trouble with the law. In April 2001, Downey committed to getting clean, and has been sober since 2003. Several years later, he was cast as Tony Stark in Iron Man, which propelled him to the international fame that he has been enjoying ever since.

“Here’s my little secret,” Downey confessed in his speech. “I needed this job more than it needed me. Chris [Nolan] knew it. Emma [Thomas] made sure that she surrounded me with one of the great casts and crews of all time—Emily [Blunt], Cillian [Murphy]. It was fantastic. And I stand here before you a better man because of it.”

In addition to being the actor's first Oscar, Downey also made history for being the first former Saturday Night Live cast member to win the award.

Robert Downey Jr.: Instagram
h/t: [Do You Remember?]

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Sarah Currier

Sarah Currier is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Based in central Iowa, she is currently enrolled at Iowa State University and is working toward a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in English. She loves all things creative, and when she’s not writing, you can find her immersed in the worlds of television, film, and literature.
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