Robert Downey Sr., the father of actor Robert Downey Jr. and director of the countercultural satire “Putney Swope,” died in New York on Wednesday.
On Instagram, Downey Jr. 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,”
Robert John Downey Sr. was born in New York City, the son of model Elizabeth (née McLauchlen) and motel and restaurant manager Robert Elias Sr. His paternal grandparents were Lithuanian Jews, and his mother had Jewish ancestors who were half Irish and half Hungarian.
Robert John Downey Sr., the father of actor Robert Downey Jr., was an American actor, director, producer, writer, and cinematographer.
Downey Sr. has starred in and directed a number of other films that become cult classics. However, when “Putney Swope” was released in 1969, it was given a mainstream release, exposing his art to a larger public, who were horrified (even appalled) by much of what they saw at the time.
Madison Avenue is a biting parody about what occurs when an African American activist is allowed free reign at an advertising agency.
New York Magazine named “Putney Swope” one of the best ten films of the year.In addition to acting, Downey Sr. appeared in films such as “Boogie Nights” (1997), “Magnolia” (1999), and “The Family Man” (2000).
Downey Sr. was married three times, the first to Elsie Ann Ford from 1962 to 1982 and the second to Laura Ernst from 1991 to 1994. The first marriage ended in divorce, while the second resulted in Ernst’s death.
His third wife, novelist Rosemary Rogers, whom he married in 1998, and his two children by Ford, actor Robert Downey Jr. and actress Allyson Downey, survive him.
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