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Robert Downey Sr. dies at 85: Filmmaker and father of Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr. passes away


Robert Downey Sr. died on Wednesday morning at the age of 85.

The iconic filmmaker, who is the father of Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr., passed away in his sleep at his home in New York City, according to his wife Rosemary Rogers, who told Daily News.

Robert Downey Sr. battled Parkinson’s Disease for more than five years before his passing. 

RIP: Robert Downey Sr. died on Wednesday morning at the age of 85. The iconic filmmaker, who is the father of Robert Downey Jr., passed away in his sleep at his home in New York City, according to his wife Rosemary Rogers; pictured with son Robert Downey Jr. on October 10, 2014

RIP: Robert Downey Sr. died on Wednesday morning at the age of 85. The iconic filmmaker, who is the father of Robert Downey Jr., passed away in his sleep at his home in New York City, according to his wife Rosemary Rogers; pictured with son Robert Downey Jr. on October 10, 2014

Robert Sr. served in the army, as well as played minor league baseball, was a Golden Gloves boxing champion and a playwright for off-Broadway productions before he was 22, per IMDB.

He was also an actor, writer and producer in addition to his filmmaking, with some of his best known acting appearances in Magnolia, Boogie Nights and To Live and Die in LA.

Robert Sr.’s last acting credit was in 2011 for the action-comedy Tower Heist; the film also starred Casey Affleck, Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy.

In 2015, he also had an uncredited appearance on Saturday Night Live as himself. 

Icon: Robert Downey Sr. battled Parkinson's Disease for five years before his passing; seen May 20, 2016 in New York City

Icon: Robert Downey Sr. battled Parkinson’s Disease for five years before his passing; seen May 20, 2016 in New York City

The father of two’s director credits include Putney Swope, Babo 73 and Balls Bluff. 

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Robert Sr. was married three times; his first wife was actress Elsie Anne Downey; Robert Sr. and Elsie welcomed two children: Allyson Downey and Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Sr. and Elsie were married from 1962 until 1982. 

He went on to marry actress Laura Ernst in 1991, whom he was married to until her death in 1994 due to Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

He married his third wife Rosemary Rogers, the author of bestseller Saints Preserve Us! and more in 1998. 

Father and son: Robert Sr. was married three times; his first wife was actress Elsie Anne Downey; Robert Sr. and Elsie welcomed two children: Allyson Downey and Robert Downey Jr; Robert Sr. and Robert Jr. pictured heading to The Avengers film premiere on April 28, 2012

Father and son: Robert Sr. was married three times; his first wife was actress Elsie Anne Downey; Robert Sr. and Elsie welcomed two children: Allyson Downey and Robert Downey Jr; Robert Sr. and Robert Jr. pictured heading to The Avengers film premiere on April 28, 2012

Robert Sr. was born on June 24, 1936 in Manhattan, New York City as Robert John Elias Jr., son of Robert Elias and Elizabeth McLoughlin.

He ended up taking his stepfather, James Downey’s surname when he enlisted in the army.

In 1960, Robert Sr. began writing and directing low-budget films that gained an underground following, they are: Balls Bluff in 1961, Babo 73 in 1964, Chafed Elbows in 1966, No More Excuses in 1968 and Putney Swope in 1969. 

In the 1970s, Robert Sr.’s most well known films were Pound in 1970, as well as Greaser’s Palace in 1972, directing the play Sticks and Bones in 1973 for TV and Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight in 1975. 

Robert Jr. and Allyson both appeared in Greaser’s Palace as children. 

Other significant films Robert Sr. directed include Hugo Pool in 1997, Rittenhouse Square in 2005 and Strut! in 2001. 

Robert Jr. starred in Hugo Pool, alongside Alyssa Milano, Sean Penn, Patrick Dempsey. 

Robert Jr.’s mom Elsie died in September 2014 at the age of 80; the actor, 56, wrote a tribute to her on Facebook at the time: ‘In the summer of 2004, I was in bad shape. She called me out of the blue and I admitted everything. I don’t remember what she said, but I haven’t drank or used since. She was my role model as an actor, and as a woman who got sober and stayed that way.’ 

Rest in peace: Robert Sr. was born on June 24, 1936 in Manhattan, New York City as Robert John Elias Jr., son of Robert Elias and Elizabeth McLoughRob

Rest in peace: Robert Sr. was born on June 24, 1936 in Manhattan, New York City as Robert John Elias Jr., son of Robert Elias and Elizabeth McLoughlin. He ended up taking his stepfather, James Downey’s surname when he enlisted in the army; Robert Sr. pictured with Robert Jr. on May 8, 2008 at the Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World Gala in New York City



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