Robert Downey Jr and Others Remember His Father as a Movie Maverick and Pioneer

·3-min read

Robert Downey Jr. announced the death of his late father, Robert Downey Sr., director of the underground film “Putney Swope,” on Instagram Wednesday, calling him “a true maverick filmmaker.”

His son revealed “dad passed peacefully in his sleep after years of enduring the ravages of Parkinson’s” on Tuesday night. Downey Jr. noted that his father “remained remarkably optimistic throughout” his battle with Parkinson’s.

He went on to share a tribute to his step-mother, Rosemary Rodgers-Downey, who he called “a saint” and offered his thoughts and prayers.

“According to my stepmom’s calculations, they were happily married for just over 2000 years,” his son said.

American journalist Bilge Ebiri shared his tribute to Downey Sr. on Twitter, calling him a “pioneering underground filmmaker” and “a true original.”

RIP Robert Downey SENIOR. Fought hard. Cared about what matters. Created many works of art…including @RobertDowneyJr

— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) July 7, 2021

The great Robert Downey Sr. has died. He was a pioneering underground filmmaker, a true original, and a lovely man. (A prince, even.) One of the highlights of my time at the Village Voice was this broad-ranging interview I got to do with him:

— Bilge Ebiri (@BilgeEbiri) July 7, 2021

"Goodnight sweet prince." That was the text I got from Bob's wife Rosemary at 6am, as we were trying to schedule a visit this weekend. I knew Parkinson's was kicking his ass, but wish I could've seen him once more. One of the funniest people I've ever met, a hero and friend. RIP.

— Aaron Hillis (@cobblehillis) July 7, 2021

“Putney Swope” was one of the strangest, most bizarre, and funniest movies of the 1960s— and a direct antecedent of the raucous Zucker Brother films and TV of the 80s, Letterman, Conan O’Brian, the Simpsons, Rick and Morty, and crazed modern humor overall.

— Gerry Conway Got the Shots and Lived (@gerryconway) July 7, 2021

RIP Robert Downey Sr.
He made some of the wildest films I've ever seen, if you have time check out Chafed Elbows or Putney Swope today in his memory.

— Matty (@MattBennett) July 7, 2021

Heartfelt thank you to Robert Downey, Sr. for giving me my first role on film in "Up The Academy." Once again with "Too Much Sun." But mostly for introducing me 2 early films "Putney Swope" "Greasers Palace." & my start as a young actor. A true maverick is right. RIP

— Ralph Macchio (@ralphmacchio) July 7, 2021

Indy maverick filmmakers don't get much more indy mavericky than Robert Downey, Sr. Rest In Peace.

— Frank Conniff (@FrankConniff) July 7, 2021

Most young film fans don't know the true legacy of Robert Downey Sr. His films were incendiary, wild, as anti-establishment as films can be. The fact that his son went on to be the face of modern Hollywood establishment is kinda nuts, but twistedly fitting in a way Sr. would love

— Zach Berg (@ZacharyBerg) July 7, 2021

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