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Man Behind The Mask

Updated on March 9, 2014

Superhero or Man

Coming to terms

There is many biographies’ written on Robert Downey Jr. If you type in his name and put bio at the end of it you will see a list that goes on and on. So as you keep reading you will see that I will not be going through his life history of when he was born, where he grew up, who he married and how his career went and is still on going. But I will be reflecting on the man, his struggle and his victory. That part of the many biographies that you read will be the subject I cover. I have never met Mr. Downey, nor have I ever spoke to him. Until a few days ago this is what I knew about him. He is an actor, got on drugs, got thrown in jail, went to rehab, and is now Ironman and Sherlock Holmes. That’s it. When Robert Downey was casted for Ironman, I like so many was very skeptical. Since I am the same age as Robert I grew up with the Avengers. My favorite was the Hulk. I believe it was because I was like the female version of Denise the Menace and loved to destroy things. It was my favorite thing to do. So even though Ironman was not my favorite I just didn’t see Robert Downey Jr playing the part. I grew up watching this guy’s life unfold on television. His arrest, his trial, going to rehab and being black balled from Hollywood. Not to mention the fact that I was raised that this was all bad and you should never do it. Plus I and my siblings were never introduced to any type of substance as a child. My dad would never drink in front of us. Truth is, there is no way I would or could relate to anything Robert Downey Jr was going through at that time. So when they casted him for the part of Ironman, I thought to myself, “What are they thinking?” When Ironman hit the theaters my husband and I was in line to see it. I remember how I felt sitting in that theater watching the story line unfolds, as the man; Robert Downey Jr. portrayed the role of Ironman. It was a feeling of, “what was I thinking?” to judge a man for his past and to doubt that he couldn’t portray that part. I come away from the theater realizing two things. First, I like so many become like the world judging someone for their past. This in my up-brining was not good practice. We were always taught to turn the other cheek and love one another and everyone deserves a second chance. I failed that test. The second thing was that Ironman was my new Avenger favorite. Robert Downey Jr put his life into that role and made it work. Ironman rocks and no one else can portray him better than Robert Downey Jr., I say well done. But it had to be hard for someone with his substance abuse life history, portraying a playboy who is constantly drinking. In everything that I have read on substance abuse the temptations of being around it or portraying it, would be hard to fight off, even if the drink was colored water or apple juice.

Understanding Substance Dependency

Robert Downey Jr no doubt in my mind will always struggle with abuse. That does not mean he is on drugs now or drinking. It means that every time he portrays a role were he has to drink something or take a drug. Robert will struggle with it. Though he may be stronger now than he was, it will always be present. Let me explain it to you in a way I come to understand it. I am a food abuser. My body has gone from a temple to a fortress. But I love food. It’s not because of depression or any mental analogy you may come up with, it’s just I love food. However there are some foods I cannot have. Those foods I cannot have are the foods that made me a fortress. It is also those foods that put me on border line diabetes and has caused ulcers in my stomach. To eat these foods could actually cause major issues and eventually kill me. But yet when I smell them cooking or see them in a commercial. I have got to have them. The craving becomes so bad that if I do not eat them right away I lay awake thinking about them. I get grumpy and irritable. That is exactly or close to what happens to someone who was once an alcoholic or on drugs. You see it, you want it, and then your mind tells you that one more time isn’t going to hurt you. Once you fall prey to it, you suffer the consequences and tell yourself never again, but you know that if you do not become strong and find a way to beat it. Those temptations will always win. Somehow Robert Downey has found a way to beat the odds. He is an inspiration to those who struggle to any type of abuse.

Robert Downey with Wife Susan Nicole Levin

The Strength Behind The Man

Recently I watched an actual biography of Robert Downey Jr. What I mean by “actually” is they told the whole story of him. It wasn’t the candy coated version were the substance abuse was left out and all they spoke of was his career and his new wife. No, it covered all the sad, un-pleasantries that Robert went through. For the first time I actually seen what this man really went through and how alone he must have felt. To be so young and have so much going on in his life, wondering when it will all end or how he can stop it. The unspoken cry for help was always there. For the grace of God and to the loving support of those who surrounded him. Robert Downey Jr. arose from the ashes and took control of his life. He started out as one of Hollywood’s statistics. Everyone thought it would end badly for him, just another death caused by substance abuse, however, he became the man who over comes it all. My favorite photo of Robert Downey Jr. is not those that show him by himself or even in the Ironman suit. My Favorite Photo of him is when he is watching Basketball with his wife, Susan Nicole Levin, now Susan Downey and laughing, mainly because it reminds me so much of mine and my husband’s relationship. This woman has seen him at his ugliest and she seen him through it. She has stood by his side no matter what and loves him unconditionally. She didn’t give up on him. That is really what all of us want in our life isn’t it? To have someone there by your side through it all, our partner in crime, the love of our life, the one who completes us? Of course it is.

Robert Downey Jr. quick Biography

What do you think?

Recently there has been some talk of Robert Downey Jr. on Iron Man Potentially Being Recast After ‘The Avengers 2. Do you think anyone else can play the part?

See results

Robert Downey a Superhero?

No he did not pick up a gun and defend our country or run into a burning house to save someone. But his story alone inspires kids of today not to do drugs and how to overcome the odds. He shows them how to never give up that there is always hope, how being wise and strong goes hand and hand. In truth, Robert Downey Jr. is Ironman. That is why only he can play the part.

The Avengers are not complete without the Ironman

Celebrity Deaths

Between the years of 1939 to 2014 drugs and alcohol as taken lives of many great celebrities, yet for some reason those figures who are in the limelight learned nothing about the effects and still participate or experiment with these types of things. Although Hollywood is full of temptations, some of us in society see firsthand the effects drugs and alcohol take on ordinary people. But what is drug and alcohol abuse? How do you know that you are abusing them or how do you stop? Most importantly how do we teach our kids to stay off of them? First of all Substance Dependency is a Disease, but it only becomes a disease when it is abused. Because alcohol and some drugs have become more socially acceptable, it has made it more accessible for people to experiment at younger ages. Unfortunately Singers like Miley sirus and Justin Beaber contribute to influencing younger generations to try this with promotions of their music and their behavior. But if only they could have witnessed firsthand the actually struggles that Robert Downey Jr., went through? Not to mention several of his pears that also struggled with substance abuse? Perhaps they wouldn't be so quick to sing about how great it is.

Saying Goodbye

The casket of Philip Seymour Hoffman is carried into the funeral mass on Friday as hundreds of mourners attended the private ceremony Read more:  Follo
The casket of Philip Seymour Hoffman is carried into the funeral mass on Friday as hundreds of mourners attended the private ceremony Read more: Follo

I took the liberty of borrowing the list below from the website This is their link if you would like to view the article in its entirety. It is a very good article and I do recommend it.

Celebrity Death Chart

Notable Fame
Cause of Death
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Heroin overdose (unconfirmed)
Cory Monteith
Actor (Glee) and singer
Toxic mix of heroin and alcohol
Lisa Robin Kelly
Actress (That '70s Show)
Multiple drug intoxication
Chris Kelly
Rapper (Kris Kross)
Fatal overdose, cocaine and heroin
Jeff Hanneman
Musician (Slayer)
Cirrhosis due to alcoholism
Whitney Houston
singer, actress
Drowning; complications of cocaine and heart disease; Flexeril, marijuana, Xanax and Benadryl also found in body but did not contribute to death
Michael Carl Baze
Horse jockey
Overdose; cocaine, oxymorphone (accidental)
Derek Boogaard
Canadian professional ice hockey player; left wing (New York Rangers)
Alcohol and oxycodone overdose (accidental)
Amy Winehouse
English singer and songwriter
Fatal alcohol poisoning; alcoholism
Erica Blasberg
American golfer (LPGA)
Asphyxia; multiple drug overdose: butalbital, temazepam, alprazolam, codeine, hydrocodone, and tramadol (suicide)
Andy Irons
Cardiac arrest complicated by mixed drug ingestion (cocaine, methamphetamine, alprazolam, methadone)
Edward Fatu “Umaga”
Samoan-American professional wrestler
Hydrocodone, carisoprodol, diazepam (accidental)
Michael Jackson
American Pop Singer and icon
Cardiac arrest, acute propofol intoxication; midazolam, lidocaine, diazepam, lorazepam also noted in autopsy report
Billy Mays
Heart disease possibly complicated by cocaine use
Christopher Bowman
American figure skater
Drug overdose: cocaine, diazepam, cannabis, alcohol (accidental)
Heath Ledger
Australian actor
Combined drug toxicity due to oxycodone, hydrocodone, alprazolam,


Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Paula Matney 

    4 years ago

    This was a great story,I never gave this man much thought, I just assumed it was another actor hooked on drugs and ruining his life,but after reading this I understand how easy it would be for a person to get into this situation and how he fought to get his life back without alcohol and drugs.This article was very informative, I liked this very much.


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