Robert Downey Jr. is considered one of the most talented and successful actors of his generation. He has won an Academy Award nomination for his work in the movie Chaplin and played the main character in the blockbuster action film Iron Man, which grossed internationally over 500 million dollars. Robert Downey Jr. has made a remarkable comeback since in previous years he mainly made news because of his recurrent problems with substance abuse.
However, since his last stint at rehab it appears like Robert Downey Jr. has made a full recovery and is getting press for his acting rather than for his addiction problems. Recently, however, he suffered a great loss when his mother passed away at the age of eighty. He wrote a touching tribute to her on facebook attributing his sobriety to her support. He refers to her as his “role-model” and says that many of his most persevering character traits such as tenacity, humor, and stubbornness are thanks to her.
Touching Tribute To His Mother
In a facebook post that Robert Downey Jr. publicly posted, he humanized his mother by writing about her story and her struggles. She was a struggling actress who at one time dealt with her own substance abuse issues. He writes about growing up poor with her and how she eventually overcame her alcoholism. Throughout this, Robert Downey Jr. began his assent up the Hollywood ladder, as he became a sought after Hollywood actor.
However, his own promising career was derailed by his repeated arrests and stints in rehab, which inevitably seemed to result in a very public relapse. He was fired from the popular television show Ally McBeal after relapsing on drugs, and it seemed like Robert Downey Jr. was on the fast-track to self-destruction. However, he writes that in 2004 he received a surprise call from her when he was at one of his lowest points, and although he doesn’t remember exactly what she said he was able to overcome his addiction from that point on.
This goes to show how important it is for an addict to have a relationship with family even at the lowest points in one’s life. The words that Robert Downey Jr’s mother said to him were less important than that she took the time to remind him that she was thinking about him and that she loved him. For Downey Jr., perhaps its was knowing that he was still loved by his mother that helped give him the motivation to become clean once and for all. He ends his tribute by writing that everyone should remember to love their parents, even with their imperfections.
Hollywood And Substance Abuse
Robert Downey Jr.’s life so far has had a positive outcome when dealing with substance abuse and Hollywood. Actors who have become successful in Hollywood have access to money, drugs, and a party lifestyle that may be hard to resist. As a result many promising actors have died from drug overdoses like:
- River Phoenix
- Heath Ledger
- Brad Renfro
- Corey Monteith
Fortunately for Robert Downey Jr. his mother stepped in at just the right time to provide words of wisdom when he most needed it most. Robert Downey Jr. also notes that her ability to overcome her own alcoholism helped inspire him to do the same. However, he was able to move her out to Los Angeles once he made enough money as an actor and was able to spend the last part of her life with her. She adored spending time with his firstborn son and lived in California until she recently passed away. She also was able to enjoy watching her son reclaim his life again after years and years of relapses.