Robert Downey Jr. gives moving MTV Movie Awards speech

Robert Downey Jr. gave a powerful speech at the MTV Movie Awards Sunday night in Los Angeles.

Upon receiving the MTV Generation Award the 50-year-old actor spoke about his battle with drugs and his rise to fame, and the struggles that followed.

"In the 34 years that have passed since the birth of MTV, I've grown up, I've struggled, I've failed. I've partied way too much," he said. "I begged for second chances and literally clawed my way to the top."

The 50-year-old actor continued, "With my fellow Avengers, I advise you to dream big, work hard, keep your noses clean, be of service, and because you can, define your generation."

His "Avengers" cast mates were on hand to present him with the honor, including Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner.

"If a man is judged by the company he keeps," he said of his co-stars. "then I must be doing something right, because look at who I'm rolling with."

Downey later tweeted about the award:

Previous MTV Generation Award winners include Johnny Depp, Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Bullock, Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx and Mark Wahlberg.