Robert Downey Sr. Dies

Son pays tribute to 'true maverick filmmaker'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2021 3:33 PM CDT
Robert Downey Sr. Dies
Robert Downey Jr., left, and his father Robert Downey Sr. arrive at Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World Gala in New York on May 8, 2008.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

Robert Downey Jr. is mourning the man who brought him into the world—and into the acting business. The Iron Man star said Wednesday that director, producer, and actor Robert Downey Sr., had died Tuesday, two weeks after his 85th birthday, People reports. "Last night, dad passed peacefully in his sleep after years of enduring the ravages of Parkinson’s," Downey Jr. said in an Instagram post. "He was a true maverick filmmaker, and remained remarkably optimistic throughout." He joked: "According to my stepmoms calculations, they were happily married for just over 2000 years."

Downey Sr., born in Manhattan in 1936, was a renowned maker of independent counterculture films in the '50s '60s, and '70s and was best known for 1969's Putney Swope, a satire of the advertising industry, and 1972 "acid western" Greaser's Palace, the BBC reports. In 1970's Pound, he gave the 5-year-old Downey Jr. his first acting role. Downey Jr. also appeared in his father's 1990 comedy Too Much Sun, reports CNN. In 2001, Downey Sr. spoke to the New York Post about his son's struggles with cocaine, a drug he had quit 20 years earlier. "Life is too easy when you're a movie star. People will do anything you want and get you anything you want," he said. "Hollywood is a horrible place." (More Robert Downey Jr. stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.