A new Netflix documentary about Robert Downey Sr., the father of Robert Downey Jr., looks back on his life and work.
With the help of documentary filmmaker Chris Smith (American Movie, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened), the actor explores his father’s past in the film, which also stars Paul Thomas Anderson and Alan Arkin.
According to a plot summary for the movie Sr., it is “a lovingly irreverent picture of maverick director Robert Downey Slife .’s career that rapidly transforms into a meditation on art, mortality, and resolving generational conflict.”
The documentary, which made its debut on November 18 in a few cinemas, was now made available on Netflix (December 2).
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Robert Downey, Sr., Who?
Robert John Elias Jr. was born in New York in June 1936, but when he intended to join the US Army while still a minor, he changed his last name to Downey in honor of his stepfather, James Downey.
IMDb states that Downey Sr. also competed in minor league baseball and won the Golden Gloves boxing title before he was 22.
Ball’s Bluff, Babo 73, Sweet Smell of Sex, and Putney Swope, a 1969 satire on the advertising industry and how race is portrayed in Hollywood, are just a few of the low-budget independent movies that Downey Sr. produced in the 1960s that were in line with the absurdist counterculture movement of the time.
Beginning with the 1972 western Greaser’s Palace, he transitioned into films with higher production values in the 1970s. In the movie, Allan Arbus plays Jesse, a man in the Wild West with supernatural abilities who can heal the ill, raise the dead, and tap dance on water. Rittenhouse Square, his final picture as a director, was released in 2005.
In addition to acting, Downey Sr. appeared in a number of movies, including Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights from 1997.
He was known for casting members of his family in his films. Elsie Ann Ford, his first wife, and an actress appeared in four of his movies: Chafed Elbows, Pound, Greaser’s Palace, and Moment To Moment.
At age five, Robert Downey Jr. made his acting debut in the 1970 film Pound. After that, he appeared in seven more of his father’s films, including Greaser’s Palace, Moment To Moment, Up The Academy, America, Rented Lips, Too Much Sun, and Hugo Pool.
Before he was a teenager, Downey Jr. claims his father introduced him to drugs. According to Downey Jr., “There was always a lot of cannabis and coke around,” according to People. It felt like he was trying to show me his love in the only manner he knew how when my dad and I would use narcotics together.
In the Netflix documentary, it is questioned whether Downey Jr.’s father’s wild lifestyle played a role in his descent into cocaine and heroin addiction in the 1990s. In a 1990s interview, Downey Sr. is heard saying, “A lot of us thought it would be hypocritical to not have our kids indulge in marijuana and stuff like that,” as reported by The Guardian. Sharing that with our kids was a stupid choice on our behalf. Simply put, I’m glad Downey Jr. is here.
On July 7, 2021, 13 days after his 85th birthday, Downey Sr. passed away in his sleep at home in Manhattan as the documentary was being made. He had battled Parkinson’s disease.
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His Projected $10 Million Net Worth
Robert Downey Srnet .’s worth was estimated by a number of websites, including Celebrity Net Worth, to be $10 million at the time of his passing. He earned money from over 20 TV and film ventures that he both directed and starred in. His remaining family members, including his son Robert Downey Jr. and daughter Allyson Downey, would probably split his estate.
The elder Downey married three times, divorcing his first spouse, Elsie, who was also the mother of his children. According to IMDb, his second wife, the writer-actress Laura Ernst, passed away in 1994 from ALS, a subject he addressed in his 1997 movie “Hugo Pool,” which starred Alyssa Milano, Robert Downy Jr., and Patrick Dempsey. At the time of his passing, Downey was wed to his third wife, best-selling novelist Rosemary Rogers.
His son posted the following on Instagram: “Dad died away quietly in his sleep last night after years of battling Parkinson’s disease. My stepmother estimated that they had been blissfully married for just over 2000 years. Rosemary Rogers-Downey, you are a saint; please know that you are in our hearts and prayers.”
The Tragic Demise of Robert Downey Jr.
The renowned director Robert Downey Sr. passed away in New York City on July 7, 2021, according to the New York Post. He passed away when he was 85 years old. The flicks “Putney Swope” and “Boogie Nights” as well as his acting cameos in “To Live and Die in LA” and “Magnolia” are what made Downey Sr. most well-known.
Throughout his career, he also made appearances on a variety of television programs, including “Matlock,” “The Twilight Zone,” and “1st & Ten” (via IMDb). After retiring from directing in 2005, Downey Sr. maintained a very low profile as an actor.
Robert Downey Jr., a well-known actor, posted on social media that his father, Downey Sr., had passed away at home in his sleep after battling Parkinson’s disease, confirming the news of his father’s passing. The Hollywood legend had two children—Daughter Allyson Downey and Son Downey Jr.—with Elsie Ann Ford and Laura Ernst before he wed novelist Rosemary Rogers. Laura Ernst passed away in 1994. (via TMZ).