It’s dangerous to love a celebrity, especially when it appears that they’re destined for a ruined career-that-once-was, or worse, a casket. Some celebs, like Britney Spears back in 2005, have exhibited such wild behavior and rampant drug use that publications starting working on their obituaries while they were still alive - you know, just in case.
So, it’s a welcome surprise and a sincere inspiration when these folks are not only able to get the help they need and pick themselves up by their bootstraps, but that they can often rebuild their careers into something that turns out to be twice as good as that which came before.
Some celebs have been doing so well for so long now that there are entire generations alive today who have no idea what these guys and gals went through before their successful comebacks. A perfect example of this is none other than Iron Man himself, Robert Downey, Jr.
Seriously, could you imagine anyone else being Tony Stark ever again? Or at least doing it half as well? 48 year-old Downey, Jr. is positively fantastic in the role, and we’d watch any Marvel movie in which he reprises the character. It seems like ages ago that he did the music video for Elton John’s “I Need Love” when, with just a look into his deeply sad eyes, we could understand his cries for help. That man seems like an entirely different one now from that which kids the world over have come to adore as one of their favorite comic book heroes. We love you, Bobby!
Another celeb who completely turned her life around is Drew Barrymore. America’s sweetheart had her fair share of wild antics and drug abuse back in the day, developing a cocaine habit as young as 12 years old and having her first alcoholic drink at nine. Not too many 13 year-olds end up in aggressive rehab - twice. Drew cited growing up in an entertainment business-steeped family as a source of pain in her life that she desperately tried to fill with drugs and alcohol.
But look at her now! The 38 year-old beauty has an adorable baby, with another one on the way, she’s happily married, and she has starred in her share of memorable films, especially those she has made with Adam Sandler (50 First Dates, The Wedding Singer). Barrymore and Downey, Jr. are the “his” and “hers” of lives turned around.
Another celeb who cleaned up her life in a remarkable way is Nicole Richie. For someone so young, she did a complete one-eighty after being arrested for heroin possession in 2003 and subsequently receiving a DUI in 2006. Now, the 32 year-old adopted daughter of singer Lionel Richie is a mom to two children with husband Joel Madden of the band Good Charlotte, and she even has her own fashion lines.
Friends’ Matthew Perry developed a scary addiction to prescription pain pills while the sitcom was in its hey-day back in 1997. You can even see in some of the episodes how emaciated he looked back then. The 44 year-old Perry relapsed again in 2001 and went back to rehab, and after taking some time off in 2011 to focus on his sobriety, he’s been on the straight and narrow ever since. Today, you can find him back on the NBC network on the sitcom Go On.