Robert Downey Sr. died Wednesday at the age of 85.
Robert Downey Sr. battled Parkinson’s Disease for more than five years before his passing.
Robert Jr. wrote a touching tribute to his father, calling him a ‘true maverick filmmaker’, and sharing an image of him.
RIP: Robert Downey Sr. died on Wednesday morning at the age of 85. The iconic filmmaker, who is the father of Robert Downey Jr., passed away in his sleep at his home in New York City, according to his wife Rosemary Rogers; pictured with son Robert Downey Jr. on October 10, 2014
Robert Jr. posted a black and white image of his father to his Instagram page on Wednesday hours after news of his death broke, with the caption: ‘RIP Bob D. Sr. 1936-2021… Last night, dad passed peacefully in his sleep after years of enduring the ravages of Parkinson’s.. he was a true maverick filmmaker, and remained remarkably optimistic throughout…’
Adding: ‘According to my stepmoms calculations, they were happily married for just over 2000 years. Rosemary Rogers-Downey, you are a saint, and out thoughts and prayers are with you.’
Robert Sr. served in the army, as well as played minor league baseball, was a Golden Gloves boxing champion and a playwright for off-Broadway productions before he was 22, per IMDB.
He was also an actor, writer and producer in addition to his filmmaking, with some of his best known acting appearances in Magnolia, Boogie Nights and To Live and Die in LA.
Robert Sr.’s last acting credit was in 2011 for the action-comedy Tower Heist; the film also starred Casey Affleck, Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy.
Icon: Robert Downey Sr. battled Parkinson’s Disease for five years before his passing; seen May 20, 2016 in New York City
In 2015, he also had an uncredited appearance on Saturday Night Live as himself.
The father of two’s director credits include Putney Swope, Babo 73 and Balls Bluff.
Robert Sr. was married three times; his first wife was actress Elsie Anne Downey; Robert Sr. and Elsie welcomed two children: Allyson Downey and Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Sr. and Elsie were married from 1962 until 1982.
He went on to marry actress Laura Ernst in 1991, whom he was married to until her death in 1994 due to Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
He married his third wife Rosemary Rogers, the author of bestseller Saints Preserve Us! and more in 1998.
From the heart: Robert Jr. posted a black and white image of his father to his Instagram page on Wednesday hours after news of his death broke
Father and son: Robert Sr. was married three times; his first wife was actress Elsie Anne Downey; Robert Sr. and Elsie welcomed two children: Allyson Downey and Robert Downey Jr; Robert Sr. and Robert Jr. pictured heading to The Avengers film premiere on April 28, 2012
Robert Sr. was born on June 24, 1936 in Manhattan, New York City as Robert John Elias Jr., son of Robert Elias and Elizabeth McLoughlin.
He ended up taking his stepfather, James Downey’s surname when he enlisted in the army.
In 1960, Robert Sr. began writing and directing low-budget films that gained an underground following, they are: Balls Bluff in 1961, Babo 73 in 1964, Chafed Elbows in 1966, No More Excuses in 1968 and Putney Swope in 1969.
In the 1970s, Robert Sr.’s most well known films were Pound in 1970, as well as Greaser’s Palace in 1972, directing the play Sticks and Bones in 1973 for TV and Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight in 1975.
Robert Jr. and Allyson both appeared in Greaser’s Palace as children.
Throwback: Robert Sr. pictured at The 25th American Cinematheque Award Honoring Robert Downey Jr. held at The Beverly Hilton hotel on October 14, 2011
Other significant films Robert Sr. directed include Hugo Pool in 1997, Rittenhouse Square in 2005 and Strut! in 2001.
Robert Jr. starred in Hugo Pool, alongside Alyssa Milano, Sean Penn, Patrick Dempsey.
Robert Jr.’s mom Elsie died in September 2014 at the age of 80; the actor, 56, wrote a tribute to her on Facebook at the time: ‘In the summer of 2004, I was in bad shape. She called me out of the blue and I admitted everything. I don’t remember what she said, but I haven’t drank or used since. She was my role model as an actor, and as a woman who got sober and stayed that way.’
Rest in peace: Robert Sr. was born on June 24, 1936 in Manhattan, New York City as Robert John Elias Jr., son of Robert Elias and Elizabeth McLoughlin. He ended up taking his stepfather, James Downey’s surname when he enlisted in the army; Robert Sr. pictured with Robert Jr. on May 8, 2008 at the Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World Gala in New York City