Downey Jr. took to his Instagram to share the news with the world. He informed that his father died late Tuesday in his sleep at home in New York. He had Parkinson’s disease for more than five years.
Sharing a monochrome picture of his father, RDJ 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.”
Downey Sr was a Hollywood journeyman who made a name for himself with radical, anti-establishment films, like the low-budget Madison Avenue advertising industry satire ‘Putney Swope’ and the Western Jesus parable ‘Greaser’s Palace’ starring Allan Arbus. His son, Robert Downey Jr., daughter Allyson Downey and first wife Elsie Downey also appeared in ‘Greaser’s Palace’.
He also featured in the film ‘To Live and Die in L.A.’, played the role of a studio manager in ‘Boogie Nights‘ and the show director in ‘Magnolia’.
Born in New York City in 1936 as Robert Elias Jr., he later changed his surname to Downey – his stepfather’s name – in order to enlist in the army early. After the army, he got into filmmaking by chance while living in New York with his sister.
The elder Downey is also survived by his wife, bestselling author Rosemary Rogers.