Drug charges against actor dismissed

— Drug charges against actor Robert Downey Jr. were dismissed Friday by a judge who also ended his probation.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Randall D. White made his ruling after determining that Downey had stayed clean and sober for 14 months.

Downey's attorney Jim Epstein said his client was "absolutely ecstatic and optimistic he'll be able to stay sober and get movie parts again."

Downey told the judge he was serious about staying out of trouble.

The actor was sentenced last July to a year at a live-in rehabilitation center and three years probation after pleading no-contest to cocaine possession and being under the influence.

Downey, nominated for an Oscar for the 1992 movie "Chaplin" and for an Emmy for "Ally McBeal," was arrested in November 2000 at Merv Griffin's Resort Hotel and Givenchy Spa in Palm Springs. Authorities allegedly found the drugs in his hotel room.

Any probation violation could have sent him to prison.

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