Robert Downey Jr. Celebrates Birthday And ‘Awesomes’ The World

Robert Downey Jr. is celebrating 50 years of living today, and he knows how much he has to celebrate. Once known as a drug addict who was fired from Ally McBeal and spent time in rehab and prison, Robert Downey Jr. cleaned up and changed his life. Downey’s much-quoted IMDb bio shows the depth of admiration fans and Hollywood have for the actor.

“Robert Downey Jr. has evolved into one of the most respected actors in Hollywood.”

An actor from the age of 5, with a debut in the film Pound directed by his father Robert Downey Sr., Downey Jr. also discovered some of the downside of the acting life from an early age. His father introduced him to drugs shortly after Pound, and by the age of 8, Robert was addicted.

He struggled with that addiction for years, dropping out of school at 17 to act, but ending up in a cycle of arrests, prison time, and spells in rehab on the road to stardom. The Iron Man wasn’t always a hero, and Downey Jr. had to work hard and dig deep to escape the legacy of Downey Sr. The Robert Downey Jr. [FAN CLUB] on Google+ posted a meme to honor that hard work.

Drug Addict to Superhero

While playing the boyfriend of Calista Flockhart’s character Ally McBeal, Robert Downey Jr. was twice arrested for being under the influence of drugs. Initially, the show’s producer, David E. Kelly, supported Downey Jr., but after the second episode, they made the decision to cut him from future shows. For Downey Jr., it was the bottom that every addict needs to hit and his subsequent stint in rehab changed his life. At the time of the arrests, Fox News reported that it was time for Robert to take charge of his life.

“Downey spokesman Alan Nierob said the actor is now ‘in charge of his own destiny.'”

So Robert Downey Jr. knows a thing or two about suffering and has put his knowledge to good use. Since turning things around after that last dramatic public failure, the star has worked hard to support charities of all kinds. According to Hayley Orzech, the news and opinion editor for Miss A, Downey works with numerous charities, including one that hits close to home for him, Midnight Mission.

“The aim of the organization is to lift up those people who have hit rock bottom, lost everything and are utterly alone.”

Most recently, Downey Jr. has made a video in support of Julia’s House, a children’s hospice house in England. In the video, he offers an opportunity for the winner to join him at the premiere of Age of Ultron. Downey promises to “awesome the crap out of you” if you’re the lucky one.

Like Robert Downey Jr. says, you can’t win if you don’t play. But he also points out that in life, you can’t play if you don’t find a way out of what he calls “the cave.”

“Job one is get out of that cave. A lot of people do get out but don’t change. So the thing is to get out and recognize the significance of that aggressive denial of your fate, come through the crucible forged into a stronger metal.”

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