Robert Downey Sr. Dies at 85: His Co-Star Ralph Macchio Remembers Him in Touching Tribute

by Emily Morgan

The star of the Netflix series “Cobra Kai,” Ralph Macchio, is honoring the late director, Robert Downey Sr. The well-known Hollywood director passed away on Wednesday, July 7. 

Downey Sr. died in his sleep in his home in New York. The director’s son and famed actor, Robert Downey Jr., acknowledged his passing on Instagram. He wrote a sweet and touching tribute to his father, discussing his legacy as both a filmmaker and actor.

After Downey Jr. confirmed the sad news, many of his fans, friends, and colleagues took to social media to express their condolences. Macchio later published his own post to honor Downey Sr. 

“Heartfelt thank you to Robert Downey, Sr. for giving me my first role on film in Up The Academy. Once again with Too Much Sun. But mostly for introducing me 2 early films Putney Swope, Greasers Palace. & my start as a young actor. A true maverick is right. RIP,” Macchio humbly wrote. 

After the news broke of his death, it undoubtedly shook the film industry. “Ask every exec @HBO when asked who should direct the pilot to my Yell series the first name I said was Robert Downey Sr. Few filmmakers have taught me how to see as aggressively & humorously as he has…from Greaser’s Palace to Putney Swope his imagination knew no bounds. RIP,” Jeremy O. Harris wrote.

“The great Robert Downey Sr. has died. He was a pioneering underground filmmaker, a true original, and a lovely man. (A prince, even.),” noted film critic Bilge Ebiri. 

Film Industry Mourns the Death of Robert Downey Sr.

Fans recognize Downey Sr. primarily for his 1969 hit movie, Putney Swope. In addition to directing, he also had a career in front of the camera. He acted in a collection of popular films, including Boogie NightsMagnolia, and The Family Man

He’s survived by his third wife, author Rosemary Rogers, and his two children (whom he shared from a previous marriage), Robert Downey Jr. and Allyson Downey. On Wednesday, his son, Robert Downey Jr., paid tribute to his father with a beautiful post. 

“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…According to my stepmom’s calculations, they were happily married for just over 2000 years,” Downey Jr. wrote on Instagram. “Rosemary Rogers-Downey, you are a saint, and our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

The Oscar winner appeared in two films directed by his father. When he was a child, his father gave him one of his first acting gigs when he starred in the 1970’s film, Pound. He later had a role in his father’s comedy from 1990, Too Much Sun.