Robert Downey Jr. Pardoned for 1996 Drug Conviction

What a present. Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

The Downeyssance is complete: On Thursday, California governor Jerry Brown officially pardoned Robert Downey Jr. for a past drug conviction. Downey — who was pardoned with 90 others — was convicted in 1996 for felony drug possession after authorities found cocaine, heroin, and a pistol in his car. He later served nearly a year in prison in 1999 for violating his probation. Downey's addiction and legal issues sidelined his career for years until he famously struck box-office gold with his role as Iron Man, having since put his troubled past behind him. The pardon of course doesn't erase Downey's conviction from his record, but it does allow him to vote and publicly rewards his "exemplary behavior." So, either Governor Brown is a big Avengers fan or he was really feeling the Christmas spirit. Or both!