The filmmaker and actor passed away in his sleep in New York City. There has been no official death certificate or cause of death released as of now. However, he had been battling Parkinson’s disease for about five years, which likely contributed to his passing away.
Robert Downey Sr. is the father of Robert Downey Jr., the iconic actor who is most known for portraying Iron Man in the Marvel Universe. Downey Sr. also had a daughter, Allyson, with his first wife, Elsie Downey. He married her in 1962 and had both kids with her before divorcing in 1982. Downey Sr. then married his second wife, Laura Ernst, in 1991 until she passed away three years later.
He married his last wife in 1998, Rosemary Rogers-Downey.
Robert Downey Jr. posted a sweet tribute to his father on social media. He wrote, “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 stepmoms calculations, they were happily married for just over 2000 years. Rosemary Rogers-Downey, you are a saint, and our thoughts and prayers are with you.”
Robert Downey Jr. and Other Tributes
Robert Downey Sr. was critical to New York’s underground film movement of the 1960s. His final acting credit was “Tower Heist,” with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy.
He had his two kids make their acting debuts in the movie “Pound.” Downey Jr. was 5 and Allyson was 7 at the time. Robert Downey Jr. has actually been in eight films that his dad directed — “Pound,” “Greaser’s Palace,” “Hugo Pool,” “Moment to Moment,” “Up the Academy,” “Rented Lips,” “America and Too Much Sun.”
His son had always spoken fondly about his impact on the film world.
“You’re not just trying to fit the storytelling on the screen, you’re trying to do something a little bit different. Dad definitely always had a vision for what he was doing, but he was always seeking those weird little forays into other things, which ended up being what people remember from the movie,” Robert Downey Jr. said in an interview from 2014, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Robert Downey Jr. wasn’t the only one to say goodbye to the iconic actor and filmmaker on social media. The National Board of Review posted photos from some of his films captioned, “Downey can be characterized by his anarchic humor, anti-establishment voice and DIY approach to filmmaking — an inspiration to anyone with aims to tell stories and make films outside the confines of the commercial Hollywood system.”