We are saddened to report that Robert Downey Sr., filmmaker and the father of actor Robert Downey Jr., died Wednesday at the age of 85.
Downey Jr. confirmed the news in an Instagram post, sharing a photograph of his father while noting that Downey Sr. “passed peacefully in his sleep” after dealing with “the ravages of Parkinson’s” for some years.
“RIP Bob D. Sr. 1936-2021…Last night, dad passed peacefully in his sleep after years of enduring the ravages of Parkinson’s,” Downey Jr. wrote in his post. “…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.”
Perhaps best known for writing and directing the underground film Putney Swope, Downey Sr. rose to fame after the 1969 film was given a mainstream release and shocked audiences at the time. Downey Sr. also acted and directed in several other films that gained a massive cult following in his later years, as well as some big films such as Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and The Family Man.
We send condolences to Downey Sr.’s friends and family during this difficult time.