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Robert Downey Jr. thanking his 'veterinarian' in speech after his first Oscar win is as epic as he is

The special person in the actor's life helped him through thick and thin and 'loved him back to life' after his initial days of struggle in the industry.

Robert Downey Jr. thanking his 'veterinarian' in speech after his first Oscar win is as epic as he is
Cover image Source: Robert Downey Jr. is seen backstage during the 96th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Al Seib/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images)

Robert Downey Jr. is on cloud nine as he bagged his first-ever Oscar in 2024. The award honors his latest performance onscreen, but his career in Hollywood has been nothing less than a roller coaster ride. The "Oppenheimer" actor, who won the Best Supporting Actor for his role as Admiral Lewis Strauss in the Christopher Nolan film, happily acknowledged his wife Susan's contribution to the resurrection of his career in his speech after his historic victory. He was called up on the stage by last year's Best Supporting Actor winner, Ke Huy Quan, along with other actors who had won the prestigious award in the same category in the past. Downey Jr. made sure to make his first winning speech as memorable as possible at the Academy Awards; a special note to his "veterinarian" left the audience in stitches.

Image Source: Robert Downey Jr., winner of Best Supporting Actor award for 'Oppenheimer' poses in the press room during the 96th Annual Academy Awards at Ovation Hollywood on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
Image Source: Robert Downey Jr., winner of the Best Supporting Actor award for 'Oppenheimer' poses in the press room during the 96th Annual Academy Awards at Ovation Hollywood on March 10, 2024, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

"I'd like to thank my terrible childhood and the Academy, in that order," he remarked, which made the audience crack up instantly. "I'd like to thank my veterinarian — I meant wife — Susan Downey over there. She found me, a snarling rescue pet and loved me back to life. That's why I am here. Thank you."

He continued his speech and thanked Nolan, Emma Thomas, the producer of "Oppenheimer," and his co-stars like Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy and Matt Damon. Downey Jr. remarked that he "needed this job more than it needed him" and how Nolan and Thomas knew about it and made sure to put together the most amazing cast and production of the year.

Image Source: Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr. attend the 96th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Image Source: Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr. attend the 96th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

"I stand here before you a better man because of it. You know, what we do is meaningful, and the stuff that we decide to make is important," Downey Jr. mentioned, thanking his stylist, publicist and entertainment lawyer, joking that his attorney of 40 years spent half of it "trying to get me insured and bailing him out." The actor concluded his speech by thanking his three kids, Avri, Exton and Indio.

It was not Downey Jr.'s first Oscar nomination because he was last nominated for his black comedy film "Tropic Thunder" in 2009. Along with his Oscar win, the actor also had to face some awkward moments at the ceremony when host Jimmy Kimmel took a dig at Downey Jr.'s troubled past.

Image Source: Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey attend the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 10, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
Image Source: Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey attend the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 10, 2024, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

According to The Independent, Kimmel cracked a sensitive joke about the "Iron Man" actor's past struggles with drug addiction in his opening monologue. He also took a playful aim at various celebrities, but fans were of the opinion that Kimmel's jokes about Downey Jr. were the worst of the lot.

"This is the highest point of Robert Downey Jr,'s career, well, one of the highest points," Kimmel humored. "Was that too on the nose or a drug motion you made?" Kimmel remarked when the Oscar winner tapped his nose to hint that he understood the reference. Some people took to social media to mention how Downey Jr. actually looked quite annoyed at that and gestured for Kimmel to move on.

Image Source: Robert Downey Jr. Mahershala Ali, Christoph Waltz, Tim Robbins, Ke Huy Quan, and Sam Rockwell during the 96th Annual Academy Awards at Ovation Hollywood on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
Image Source: Robert Downey Jr. Mahershala Ali, Christoph Waltz, Tim Robbins, Ke Huy Quan, and Sam Rockwell during the 96th Annual Academy Awards at Ovation Hollywood on March 10, 2024, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

"Look at him, he's so handsome, so talented, he's won every award there is to win," continued Kimmel before cracking another NSFW joke aimed at Downey Jr. The actor, who has been active in the industry since the 80s, had to serve 12 months in prison back in 1999 when he repeatedly missed court-ordered drug tests. Downey Jr. previously said he lived through "30 years of dependency, depravity, and despair." He has been sober since July 2003 and received his second chance in Hollywood as Marvel's "Iron Man" in 2008, which gave him international acclaim and respect in the film industry.



 

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