Robert Downey Jr. Wins Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Estimated read time 3 min read

The Big Picture

  • Robert Downey Jr.’s Oscar win for
    is a triumph, showcasing his versatility beyond Tony Stark/Iron Man.
  • The role of Lewis Strauss marked a departure from Downey’s iconic Marvel character, adding depth to his decades-long career.
  • The win signifies a significant milestone in Downey’s transformative Hollywood journey, reflecting his talent and resilience.

In one of the finest comeback stories seen in Hollywood — worthy of a movie in its own right — Robert Downey Jr. clinched the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the 2024 Academy Awards for his role in Christopher Nolan’sOppenheimer. Downey played Lewis Strauss, an important historical figure who was a key member of the Atomic Energy Commission. Strauss is notable for his role in the opposition to J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist often called the “father of the atomic bomb.” Strauss’s actions and influence were pivotal in the revocation of Oppenheimer’s security clearance during the Red Scare, an event that had significant consequences for Oppenheimer’s career and reputation.

The role marked a significant departure from his well-known role as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, allowing Downey to showcase the talent and versatility he’s always had as an actor by stepping into the shoes of a complex and controversial historical figure, adding a fantastic new chapter to his tumultuous, yet rewarding career to date. Downey swept the board at the major awards shows in 2024, with Oscar Night proving to be his crowning glory as an actor.

This Oscar win holds profound significance, not just as a recognition of his performance in Oppenheimer but as a milestone that reflects on his transformative career path. Downey’s journey in Hollywood has been nothing short of cinematic in its own right, marked by early critical acclaim, personal struggles, and a triumphant resurgence as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the MCU, a role that catapulted him to global superstardom and also allowed him to stretch some acting muscles that even he felt were perhaps unfairly overlooked.

Has Robert Downey Jr. Been Nominated for Many Oscars?

Prior to his resurgence, Downey Jr. received his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor in 1992 for his performance in Chaplin, a role that showcased his capability for deeply immersive performances as he played the iconic Charlie Chaplin. Downey would go on to receive his second Oscar nod for his role as Kirk Lazarus, an egomaniacal “method actor” in Ben Stiller‘s satirical comedy, Tropic Thunder, in 2008.

Third time has proven to be the charge for Downey, however, and his award is part of what’s expected to be an extremely fruitful evening for Oppenheimer, with co-stars Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt also up for awards, as is director Nolan, and the film itself for Best Picture.

Oppenheimer is available to stream on Peacock.

Oppenheimer Poster


The story of American scientist, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and his role in the development of the atomic bomb.

Release Date July 21, 2023

Runtime 180 minutes