Robert Downey Jr. will have plenty to write about in his new autobiography.
The 41-year-old actor, whose troubled Hollywood trajectory has long been tabloid fodder, has sealed a deal with HarperEntertainment to pen his memoirs, publicist Alan Nierob confirmed Friday.
According to an announcement made by the publisher, a division of HarperCollins, Downey will reflect on his emergence in the 1980s as one of Hollywood's most gifted young actors to his oft-chronicled drug-fueled crash and burn in the late-'90s that landed him briefly behind bars and nearly wrecked his career.
Downey has been clean and sober for four years and is mounting what looks to be a successful big-screen comeback, with his latest film, the animated Warner Bros. sci-fi thriller A Scanner Darkly, opening Friday.
No word how much he'll earn for his account, but a Harper insider promised that the Oscar-nominated Chaplin star will offer readers a "candid look at the highs and lows of his life and career."
Downey's downward spiral began in 1996, when a traffic stop turned up cocaine, heroin and a loaded gun in his car. One month later, the Less Than Zero star made headlines again when he was discovered passed out on a child's bed in a neighbor's house. Three days after that, he was arrested for a leaving a recovery center.
In 1997, Downey was busted for a parole violation and logged time in Los Angeles County jail. Two years later, after several failed stints in rehab facilities, he was sentenced to three years in Corcoran State Prison in central California for violating his probation on drug and weapons charges.
After a year behind bars, Downey was released in August 2000 and landed a Golden Globe-nominated recurring role on Fox's Ally McBeal as well as a role in the critically hailed film Wonder Boys.
But by that Thanksgiving, he fell off the wagon and was arrested in Palm Springs for possession of cocaine and methamphetamines.
He was arrested again in Culver City, California in April 2001, for being under the influence of a controlled substance, a slip-up that cost him his Ally McBeal job.
Downey finally got his act together and, after staying clean for a year and fulfilling the rest of his probation requirements, the charges stemming from his Palm Springs episode were dropped. All told, Downey made at least nine trips to rehab in the past decade.
But by 2003, he was back on track, appearing in the indie film The Singing Detective, recording and releasing an album and getting engaged to Susan Levin, whom he married in 2005.
His most recent film credits include 2005's Oscar-nominated Good Night, and Good Luck and the praised action-comedy Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. Earlier this year he costarred in Disney's remake of The Shaggy Dog, and he has at least five other projects in the pipeline, including the starring role in an Edgar Allen Poe biopic, due out in 2008--about the same time as his book.