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Robert Downey on Upswing, Says Judge

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Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr. put in a brief appearance before his parole judge on Tuesday and got a passing grade. In reviewing Downey’s progress in drug rehabilitation as presented in a report by the actor’s probation officers, Riverside County (Calif.) Superior Court Judge Randall White declared that he is pleased with Downey’s progress, reports Reuters. The report states that Downey, 36, has remained drug-free since being placed in a program last spring, says the news service. Downey, who is poised to resume his film career, is next due before the court in mid-summer, at which time it could be determined that his probation period should conclude. He is currently in a three-year, live-in rehab program as was ordered by the court in January of 2001. “I’m pleased to see that you’re doing well,” the judge told Downey on Monday, according to Reuters. “I hope it (drug rehab) continues to be of some benefit to you. I’ll see you back here on July 19.” Downey, sporting a purple sharkskin suit, white shirt and striped necktie, replied, “Thank you.” He otherwise had remained silent during the proceedings and afterwards, when he walked past journalists as he left the courthouse, reports Reuters. His attorney, James Epstein, however, told reporters that the former “Ally McBeal” star (whose stint on the Fox program ended at the time of his last arrest) was “going full-bore” with his career. Next month, he is reportedly due to begin filming a movie version of the BBC mini-series “The Singing Detective,” by Dennis Potter (“Pennies From Heaven”).