'Avengers: Endgame': Fans hail Robert Downey Jr. as the ultimate Hollywood comeback story

Days before "Iron Man" hit theaters in 2008, the LA Times lamented Robert Downey Jr.'s top billing in the superhero flick, labeling him a "43-year-old ex-junkie, ex-con" known as the "talent most likely to disappoint."

Despite calling his casting "depressing" to adult Marvel fans, the profile noted that Downey brought "subtext and sizzle" to Tony Stark. But, understandably, it devotes significant space to documenting the actor's string of bad publicity stemming from drug addiction through the '90s and 2000s. Most infamously, Downey was revived by paramedics after wandering into and passing out in a neighbor's child's bed.

Contrast that Robert Downey Jr. to the one of 2019. Now 15 years sober, and one decade after many dismissed the actor as too much of a "joke" to step into a superhero suit, audience reactions to "Avengers: Endgame" show just how dramatically his public image has transformed.

One particular viral video, which was posted on Twitter and was since re-uploaded to YouTube, is perhaps the best indicator of his remarkable redemption.

Filmed as the "Endgame" credits rolled, the audience predictably claps and cheers as each star's name — huge stars, like Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth — appears on screen. But it's not until Downey's name that the crowd jumps to its feet in a massive, hollering standing ovation with an energy usually reserved for rock concerts.

As Downey wraps up his ten-year tenure in the Marvel universe, fans are taking to Twitter to celebrate the actor's inspirational journey: "Shows that you can definitely bounce back from substance abuse and it’s not the end destination," one wrote.

Downey himself has emphasized that drug and alcohol addiction, while difficult to battle, can be triumphed: "You’re confronted with histories and predispositions and influences and feelings and unspoken traumas or needs that weren’t met, and all of a sudden you’re three miles into the woods," he said in 2014. "Can you help someone get out of those woods? Yes, you can. By not getting lost looking for them.”

PHOTOS: "Avengers: Endgame" red carpet premiere

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'Avengers: Endgame' red carpet arrivals
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'Avengers: Endgame' red carpet arrivals
US actress Scarlett Johansson arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22: Scarlett Johansson attends the World Premiere of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 'Avengers: Endgame' at Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
US singer Miley Cyrus arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
US singer Miley Cyrus and Australian actor Liam Hemsworth arrive for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
US actor Chris Pratt and US author Katherine Schwarzenegger arrive for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
US actress Gwyneth Paltrow arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
Australian actor Chris Hemsworth and his wife Spanish actress Elsa Pataky arrive for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
Actress Zoe Saldana arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by VALERIE MACON has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [Actress Zoe Saldana] instead of [British actress Thandie Newton]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
US actress Scarlett Johansson and US actor Colin Jost arrive for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
(L-R) US actor Mark Ruffalo, Odette Ruffalo, Bella Ruffalo, US actress Sunrise Coigney and Keen Ruffalo arrive for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
US actress Danai Gurira arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
US actress Brie Larson arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
US actor Bradley Cooper arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
US actress Tessa Thompson arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
US actor Paul Rudd arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
(L-R) Actor Matt Damon, his wife Luciana Barroso, Samantha Hemsworth and her husband actor Luke Hemsworth arrive for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
US actor Jeremy Renner arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22: Elisabeth Olsen attends the World Premiere of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 'Avengers: Endgame' at Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
English actor Benedict Cumberbatch and English theatre director Sophie Hunter arrive for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
US actor Chris Evans arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
US/Israeli actress Natalie Portman arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
US actor Josh Brolin and wife US model Kathryn Boyd arrive for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
Robert Downey Jr. showed up to the world premiere of 'Avengers: Endgame' in the Audi e-tron GT Concept on April 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Audi)
US actor Don Cheadle and wife US actress Bridgid Coulter arrive for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22: Linda Cardellini attends the World Premiere of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 'Avengers: Endgame' at Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
US actor Jon Favreau arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
French actress Pom Klementieff arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' with makeup by Jillian Dempsey.
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 22: Ken Jeong arrives for the World Premiere Of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 'Avengers: Endgame' held at Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22: Laurence Fishburne attends the World Premiere of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 'Avengers: Endgame' at Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Canadian actress Cobie Smulders arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
President of Marvel Studios producer Kevin Feige and his wife Caitlin Feige arrive for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22: Chloe Bennet attends the World Premiere of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 'Avengers: Endgame' at Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Romanian/US actor Sebastian Stan arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
US actor Mark Ruffalo and US actress Sunrise Coigney arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
Spanish actress Elsa Pataky arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
US actor Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey arrive for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
The Walt Disney Company CEO, Robert Iger arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 22: Ming Na Wen arrives for the World Premiere Of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 'Avengers: Endgame' held at Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22: AJ McLean attends the World Premiere of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 'Avengers: Endgame' at Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22: Kevin Pollok attends the World Premiere of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 'Avengers: Endgame' at Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Natalie Portman posed in front of an Audi at the world premiere of 'Avengers: Endgame' on April 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Audi)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22: Meg Donnelly attends the World Premiere of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 'Avengers: Endgame' at Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
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