The Academy Award-nominated actor was in Chicago on Saturday to accept the award. The center says it chose to honor the 45-year-old Downey because he is "one of the most respected and versatile actors of his generation."
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Downey gave an interview to director Todd Phillips, saying three of his movies are the "most representative" of his work, "Tropic Thunder," ''Sherlock Holmes" and "Iron Man." He won a Golden Globe for "Sherlock Holmes."
The actor also says he's moved on from drug and alcohol abuse.
Downey is to star in the Phillips-directed movie "Due Date" as a first-time dad trying to make it home in time for the birth of his baby.
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