“After years of battling Parkinson’s disease, Dad passed away in his sleep tonight… Downey Jr. described him as a “truly maverick filmmaker.”
Robert Downey Sr., father of actor Robert Downey Jr. and director of the countercultural comedy “Putney Swap,” died in New York on Wednesday. At that time he was 85 years old.
“Last night, Dad died quietly in his sleep… after battling the ravages of Parkinson’s,” Downey Jr. said on Instagram.
He was a real pioneer in the field of filmmaking.”
Downey Sr. also starred in and directed several other cult classics. However, when “Putney Swap” was released in 1969, it was given a mainstream release, which exposed her work to a larger audience, who were surprised – even outraged – by what she did at the time. whatever he had seen.
Madison Avenue is a scathing parody of what happens when an African American worker is allowed full reign at an advertising firm. “Putney Swap” was included in New York magazine’s list of the top ten films of the year.
“Boogie Nights” (1997), “Magnolia” (1999), and “The Family Man” were among the films in which Downey Sr. appeared (2000).
With satirical works such as “Pound,” which depicted people waiting to adopt dogs, the cult director prospered in the autism-driven 1970s film business. “Greaser Palace” (1972) was a standout retelling of the life of Christ set against the backdrop of a spaghetti Western, and Time named it one of the ten best films of the year.
He worked on projects for Joseph Papp and the New York Public Theater in the early 1970s, and in 1973 broadcast David Rabe’s play “Sticks and Bones” for CBS. Anti-war themes force the network to show uninterrupted performances.
“Moment to Moment” (aka “Jive,” “Compliments to the World,” and “Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight”), released in 1975, shows Downey’s harsh sense of humour.
According to the Village Voice, the filmmakers “was hard to get funding for a picture that lacked story. ‘There’s a scenario where we’re going to see 18 people playing baseball on horseback,’ I got a man once ‘Are you out of your king’s mind?’ He said, “Looking at me. Nicholson contributed, as did Hal Ashby and Norman Lear, two old friends of mine. This is my kids’ favorite movie of all time.”
Actor Ron Liebman sued to have his name removed from the credits of Downey’s 1980 picture “Up the Academy”, an attempt to replicate the popularity of “Animal House” but far less raucous than the John Belushi comedy. with antics. Martin Mull wrote and starred in his later films, including the 1986 drama “America” and the 1988 comedy “Rented Lips”.
“Too Much Sun” (1990) garnered additional attention due to a cast including Robert Downey Jr., Alan Arbus, Eric Idle and Ralph Macchio, including it in a New York Times review: “Four strange-looking men bid farewell to tears. For your overgroomed canines, all the poodles, who are going on vacation in a Poodle-doo van, begins Robert Downey Jr.’s enjoyable ‘Too Much Sun’, a comedy of loosely cobbled together scenarios that relentlessly Laughs at half speed.”
After his second wife Laura died of ALS in 1994, Downey Sr. created “Hugo Poole”. The video promotes ALS awareness and had its global premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997. In 2005, he released the film “Rittenhouse Square”, which is about the primary cultural and social center of Philadelphia.
Robert John Elias Jr., the son of model Elizabeth McLaughlin and hotel and restaurant manager Robert Elias, was born in New York City. When he enlisted in the military, he used his stepfather’s surname, James Downey.
“Balls Bluff” (1961), “Babo 73” (1964), “Chaffed Elbows” (1966), and “No More Excuses” (1967) were his early films, all low-budget absurd attempts that garnered a cult following. ( 1968).
These early underground comedies, dubbed “chaotically eccentric and countercultural with a capital C” by the Village Voice, were restored by Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation, and featured in the 2008 New York Anthology Film Archives, along with Recently found “Moment to Moment” (1975).
“No More Excuses” (1968), according to the Village Voice, was “the most riotous”, with Downey crashing “Yankee Stadium and an overcrowded subway car in a Union Army costume, about 40 from Borat’s public mischief. year ago. “
Robert Downey Sr. was married three times, first to Elsie Ann Ford from 1962 to 1982 and to Laura Ernst from 1991 to 1994. The first marriage ended in divorce, while the second resulted in the death of Ernst.
His third wife, novelist Rosemary Rogers, whom he married in 1998, and two children, Ford, actor Robert Downey Jr. and actress Alice.