'Iron Man' is now a Disney legend.
It was Disney's turn to say 'I love you 3000' to Robert Downey Jr, who helped launch the Marvel Studios and the Avengers juggernaut.
The actor and 11 other talented artistes and celebrities were honoured with the Disney Legend Award at D23 Expo 2019 here on Friday.
He was joined by actor- filmmaker Jon Favreau, who directed the first and second Iron Man movies and also starred in them as Happy Hogan.
Playing Tony Stark for these many years, that thematic idea that technology can guide our species towards enlightenment or destruction has been really worthwhile. It is an ongoing meditation. And on of the greatest gifts. I want to thank fans who made this all possible, Downey Jr said after receiving the honour.
The actor also thanked Disney head Bob Iger, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Fiege and Favreau, with whom he shares a brotherly bond of faith.
"I get to remain a fan of the fist inclusive and evolving cinematic universe ever so far. Here is to future," the actor, whose speech was interrupted twice by adoring fans, said.
Downey Jr, who made his Disney debut with 2006 film The Shaggy Dog, marked the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with 2008's Iron Man.
His portrayal of the Marvel comics superhero Iron Man aka Tony Stark was loved by the audience across the globe, and the 54-year-old actor went on to star in a series of MCU movies including two standalones and multi-starrers like The Avengers and Avengers: Infinity War among others.
Avengers: Endgame, which released in April this year, was Downey Jr's last film as Iron Man as the character died in the end of the biggest war in the MCU.
Praising Downey Jr's portrayal of Iron Man, Iger said it was a coming together of a phenomenal actor and a fantastic character.
Other recipients of the award were singer Christina Aguilera, veteran actor James Earl Jones, Bette Midler and celebrated composer Hans Zimmer.
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