Page last updated at 12:17 GMT, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 13:17 UK

Downey Jr abandons memoir plans

Robert Downey Jr
Downey Jr is set to star in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes movie

Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr has postponed plans to write his memoirs and returned his advance to book publisher HarperCollins.

His autobiography was originally billed as "a candid look at the highs and lows of his life and career".

A spokeswoman for the actor declined to comment on his reasons for cancelling the book, which was due to come out this year.

The 43-year-old, who has a history of drug abuse, signed the deal in 2006.

The actor is set to play the lead role in director Guy Ritchie's forthcoming film version of Sherlock Holmes.

Personal issues

It follows his stint as Tony Stark, a billionaire playboy who builds himself a superhero suit, in summer blockbuster Iron Man.

The actor signed on for three Iron Man films, and is due to reprise the role on the big screen in 2010.

Downey Jr has previously struggled with a series of personal problems, notably his widely-reported drug use, which led to prison and a rehabilitation programme.

The New York-born actor won critical acclaim for his role in Chaplin, which received an Oscar nomination in 1993.

He regularly appeared in TV drama Ally McBeal and has starred in animated thriller A Scanner Darkly and comedy musical The Singing Detective.

Downey Jr is the son of writer-director Robert Downey who gave him his first role - playing a puppy in 1970's surrealist Pound.

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