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90s nostalgia

Robert Downey Jr.: 30 Years of Red-Carpet Looks

Iron Man 3 opened this weekend to both box-office and critical success. But had you told anyone fifteen years ago that Robert Downey Jr. would be the face of that franchise, plus an Avenger, it would have sounded like a long shot. Downey's infamous drug abuse derailed his career for a while — a long while, long enough for People magazine to have two different stories about him called "Hitting Bottom." But he's made quite the comeback! Now that he's Sherlock Holmes, Iron Man, and a hell of a late-night guest, it seemed like the perfect time to go all the way back to the beginning and trace Robert Downey Jr.'s pop evolution, from the early bad-boy era to the modern-day Mr. Charming.

Photo: Barry King/Sygma/Corbis and Gregg DeGuire/PictureGroup/Getty