5 Facts About Robert Downey Jr’s Father That You Didn’t Know

5 Facts About Robert Downey Jr's Father That You Didn't Know
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By now, most people on the planet would know who Robert Downey Jr. is. But do you know who his father Robert Downey Sr. is? RDJ’s old man was also a writer and a filmmaker, and he actually launched his son into movies. In fact, they’ve even acted together in projects like Johnny Be Good, and 1994’s Hail Caesar.


With the upcoming Netflix Documentary “Sr.” based on RDJ and his father’s relationship arriving soon, everyone’s intrigued to know more about Robert Downey Sr. Well, here are 5 facts about Big Daddy Downey that you should know before watching the upcoming documentary:

His Name Change and Family Tree

Robert Downey Sr. Young

RD Sr. was born in Manhattan, New York, but raised in Rockville Centre, New York. Originally, his name wasn’t “Robert Downey” as he adopted the surname “Downey” from his stepfather, Jim Downey. But his original name was Robert Elias Jr., after his father Robert Elias Sr. His mother Elizabeth had a modeling career of her own.


Also Read: “I got to get her back into these movies so I can make out with her”: Robert Downey Jr’s Wife Susan Downey Couldn’t Care Less if Iron Man Star Makes Out With Gwyneth Paltrow

His Army Days Before Film Making

Apparently, he was kicked out of the army!

Robert Downey Sr. joined the army when he was merely 15 years old. It was the 50s, so getting into the army wasn’t as tough as he just faked his age to do that. But during his free time, he used to write plays. He even wrote a novel that never got published. But this experience is what gave him the confidence to make a career out of off-Broadway playwriting and screenwriting.

His Sports Accolades

Yogi Berra Robert Downey Sr.

Downey Sr. was a young minor-league baseball player. So during his army days when he and his fellow soldiers received a visit from the New York Yankees, he got to play with the legendary Hall of Famer, Yogi Berra. He’s proud of the fact that his first 2 innings were good enough until Yogi Berra hit a triple to show him who’s boss!


Also Read: Marvel Resurrects Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man From the Dead in ‘I Am Iron Man’ 5 Part Limited Series on Tony Stark’s 60th Anniversary

By the age of 22, Robert Downey Sr. was a talented writer and director. But he wanted to try out another one of his interests, which was boxing. As a professional boxer, he scored quite a few wins and even became a Golden Gloves Boxing Champion.

How He Bonded With His Son

Director Robert Downey Sr. and his son Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr.’s own drug addiction could be traced back to his father. Daddy Downey was an alcohol addict himself, and he admitted that he once passed a joint to his son when he was just 6. He regretted it for sure, but later on, the Downey men actually bonded with each other while smoking weed. “When my dad and I would do drugs together, it was like him trying to express his love for me in the only way he knew how,” Robert Downey Jr. revealed in his book, The New Breed.


Also Read: “He Doesn’t Want me to be taller than him”: Robert Downey Jr Was Insecure About His height While Shooting With Gwyneth Paltrow in Iron Man, Didn’t Like His Co-star Wearing High Heels

His Controversial Best Movie

Putney Swope Robert Downey Sr.

A cult classic movie called Putney Swope is Robert Downey Sr.’s greatest piece of work. But, it was bogged down by controversy upon its release. Its poster showed a middle finger and presented the slogan, “Up yours, Madison Ave.” It turned out to be quite problematic and RDS told Interview Magazine that he ” had a great time doing it [the movie], [but got in] big trouble when it was done—nobody wanted it.” Still, RDS ended up with a great long career.

Now, we’re going to find out more about fatherhood, moviemaking, and some other great things about Robert Downey Jr. and his father in Sr., which hits Netflix on November 2.


Source: CBR

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Written by Neal Johnson

Articles Published: 300

An avid movie fan and pop culture enthusiast.