Robert Downey Sr to Jr – handing on a drug habit

Robert Downey Jr has been remarkably forgiving of his counter-culture film director father in a ‘sad and affectionate’ home-movie portrait about to air on Netflix, which only finished after senior died of Parkinsons aged 80.

  Robert Downey Sr was addicted to drugs and alcohol and introduced junior to marijuana when he was six years old. Not surprisingly Jr continued on to develop a full-blown addiction leading to ‘fifteen years of total insanity’ which nearly wrecked his career. He had several run-ins with the law in the late 1990s and early 2000s and even spent time behind bars after missing his required drug tests. He credits his then wife for sobering him up in 2003 after which his career took off again largely thanks to Marvel.

  In an interview, Downey Jr. said: “When my dad and I would do drugs together, it was like him trying to express his love for me in the only way he knew how.”

  He was born 4 April 1965 1.10pm New York, Robert Jr has a lucky, successful and indulgent Moon Jupiter in Taurus in his 10th, suiting him for a career in the public eye but also attracting him to hedonistic pleasures. His Moon Jupiter oppose a 4th house Neptune describing his creative, film-maker father who was also hooked on other forms of escapism. There are various ways Neptune in the 4th can manifest but a sick or druggie father is certainly one of them – not a great role model.

  Downey Jr also had a volatile, volcanic Mars, Uranus, Pluto in Virgo opposition an 8th house Saturn which would give him a hot-lava reservoir of anger issues and depression.

  Sr, born 24 June 1936, in Iowa, was a Sun Venus in Cancer conjunct Mars in final degree Gemini which in turn squared Saturn – a mix of charm, wildly enthusiasm and short-temper. His Virgo Moon Neptune were conjunct his son’s Mars Uranus Pluto and opposition Saturn so it was a difficult emotional connection where nurturing was concerned.  

  When Jr finally got clean of drugs in 2003 tr Pluto was just finished squaring his natal Pluto (and Saturn).  That mid life crisis – aged 38 to 42 years old  – which starts with tr Pluto square natal Pluto is a vital transition if the second half of life is to be fulfilling.  It pulls away from the past – and is followed by tr Neptune square natal Neptune and then the Uranus opposition.

   His relationship chart with his father is tight and controlling/possessive with a composite Sun Venus Mercury square Pluto; with two strained Yods – one not surprisingly onto a Neptune apex planet and the other onto Saturn.  Not an easy bond but Jr appears to have risen above or moved beyond the more damaging aspects of it.

8 thoughts on “Robert Downey Sr to Jr – handing on a drug habit

  1. I have many friends and clients born in the mid-60’s… that sort of mini-generation. They fascinate me and it’s been interesting to study them astrologically and to watch them mature and come into their own. Just embracing that Pluto conj. Uranus is a heck of a life task. Such a dance to integrate a kind of hidden nuclear reactor power in each. Honestly.. it’s been a privilege to know so many!

    Years ago I remember reading a quote from RD… when he was in the midst of his addictions.
    He said, “I have the gun in my mouth and I like the taste of the metal”.
    Holy crap, eh?

    And yes… he had an astrological relationship with Steven Forrest and credits that with helping him.

    That Neptune in the 4th (Father) is opp. his Moon in the 10th (Mother)… Elsie Ford, born April 11, 1934 in Dormont, Penn. What a life she had! She, too, was very influential in RD’s life. Both his mother’s AND father’s charts are woven closely into his. Some kind of destiny, I guess.

    here is a tribute he wrote about her on her death.

    He is a very talented man… how amazing that he was able to climb out of the muck… and heal, it seems.

  2. I read somewhere that Jr. has made use of astrology to help improve his life and his choices. In light of his later successes, it seems he took the astro advice to heart!

  3. RD Jr. Is clearly talented. But I swear that Iron Man character was made for him. When it’s hard to imagine another actor playing a role so brilliantly, you know they “killed it”. He was also brilliant as Sherlock Holmes, which I suspect was more difficult to play than Tony Stark, and still he was flawless. But the Dr. Dolittle remake was a skid mark. 🙂
    I’m glad he was able to get clean and rise to his well earned and deserved success.

  4. Also, a sidenote from the documentary: Robert Jr. was an exceptionally cute kid. Sr. says that the moment he put the kid on camera, he knew he’d become an actor. I think this is something he had in common with Drew Barrymore.

  5. Incidently – or maybe not so much so since my interest in cinematography -, I just watched the documentary. What I think saved both Sr. and ultimately Jr. were their Earth Moons. Both would quote presence of a “stabilizing” female companion as an important factor in achieving sobriety.

    Another “share” is their Sun conjunct Venus in Cardinal signs. While Sun conjunct Venus isn’t uncommon, intergenerational transfer of an exact aspect is relatively rare – for instance neither I nor my kid brother got this from our father, and my grandparents didn’t have it either. I guess this is part of Elias’/Downey charm and the fact they’ve gotten away with seemingly a lot.

    • Also, a sidenote from the documentary: Robert Jr. was an exceptionally cute kid. Sr. says that the moment he put the kid on camera, he knew he’d become an actor. I think this is something he had in common with Drew Barrymore.

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