• Monday, Jan 24, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Filmmaker Robert Downey Sr passes away at 85

  • Published at 11:06 am July 8th, 2021
Robert Downey
Actor Robert Downey Jr and his father Robert Downey Sr at Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World dinner on 8 May 2008 in New York AFP

He was best known for writing and directing the underground film Putney Swope in 1969

Celebrated filmmaker Robert Downey Sr, father of “Iron Man” star Robert Downey Jr, passed away at the age of 85 on Wednesday.

Downey Sr’s wife Rosemary Rogers-Downey told the Daily News that he died in his sleep at his home in New York City.

Sharing the news of his death, Downey Jr also revealed via an Instagram post that his father had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

According to Rosemary, Downey Sr had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for more than five years.

“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,” wrote Downey Jr.

He added that according to his stepmother Rosemary calculations, she and his father "were happily married for just over 2000 years."

His tribute ended with a message to Rosemary, a music producer and author who is Downey Sr's third wife, saying: "You are a saint, and our thoughts and prayers are with you."

Downey Sr was a leading figure in independent US cinema in the 1950s and 60s, best known for writing and directing the underground film Putney Swope in 1969, a satire on the New York Madison Avenue advertising world.

He is also best remembered for his work in the 1972 western Greaser’s Palace and his acting roles in movies including Boogie Nights and Magnolia.

Downey Jr’s first acting credit was in one of his father’s films -- Pound in 1970.

Born in June 1936 in New York City to model Elizabeth and restaurant and hotel manager Robert Elias Sr, Downey Sr had served in the US Army before turning to filmmaking.

He was married three times, including to Elsie Ann Ford and Laura Ernst -- both of whom passed away.

He is survived by his third wife Rosemary and his two children by Ford -- actor Downey Jr and Allyson Downey.

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