Robert John Downey Sr

Jun 24, 1936

85 years

Jul 07, 2021



Robert Downey Sr., a daring auteur of American Cinema. His spirit of creative rebellion and profound satire forever captured in film. A true pioneer, he taught us to question, to laugh, and to see the world through a different lens.


Robert Downey Sr. was a distinguished American filmmaker, director, producer, writer, and actor known for his uniquely avant-garde, satirical films.

Downey Sr., a native of Manhattan, New York City, began his career making no-budget feature films, striking a fine balance between the experimental and the entertaining. His films like "Babo 73" and "Chafed Elbows" reflected the countercultural sentiments of the 1960s. Downey Sr. achieved national recognition with the release of "Putney Swope" in 1969. The film, a satirical exploration of race and consumerism set in New York's advertising scene, remains his most critically acclaimed work.

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Downey Sr. continued to direct offbeat and unconventional films, establishing himself as a cult figure in American independent cinema. His work significantly influenced the next generation of independent filmmakers, including his son, Robert Downey Jr., who would go on to become an A-list actor in Hollywood. Downey Sr.'s contribution to cinema was recognized in 2001 when the New York Underground Film Festival held a retrospective of his work.

Downey Sr. passed away on July 7, 2021, leaving behind a legacy of iconoclastic, provocative, and fiercely independent filmmaking.

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