Robert Downey Sr.

Director, Actor, Producer
Described by an associate as "a big jovial bear", Robert Downey Sr translated his irreverent, mordant humor to the screen as the writer-director of several experimental cult classics of the late 1960s and early 70s ... Read more »
Born: 06/24/1936 in Tennessee, USA

Filmography

Actor (15)

Radio Unnameable 2012 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Tower Heist 2011 (Movie)

Judge Ramos (Actor)

From Other Worlds 2007 (Movie)

Baker (Actor)

The Family Man 2000 (Movie)

Man in House (Actor)

Magnolia 1999 (Movie)

WDKK Show Director (Actor)

Boogie Nights 1997 (Movie)

Recording Studio Manager (Actor)

Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Johnny Be Good 1988 (Movie)

NCAA Investigator (Actor)

Moving Target 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

To Live and Die in L.A. 1985 (Movie)

Thomas Bateman (Actor)

Is There Sex After Death 1970 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

A Touch of Greatness (TV Show)

Actor
Director (11)

Rittenhouse Square 2005 (Movie)

(Director)

Too Much Sun 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

Rented Lips 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

America 1986 (Movie)

(Director)

Mad Magazine Presents: Up the Academy 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight 1975 (Movie)

(Director)

Greaser's Palace 1971 (Movie)

(Director)

Pound 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

Putney Swope 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

Chafed Elbows 1964 (Movie)

(Director)

Hugo Pool (TV Show)

Director
Writer (9)

Rittenhouse Square 2005 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Too Much Sun 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

America 1986 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Gong Show Movie 1980 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight 1975 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Greaser's Palace 1971 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Pound 1969 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Putney Swope 1969 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Chafed Elbows 1964 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Producer (2)

Greaser's Palace 1971 (Movie)

(Producer)

Chafed Elbows 1964 (Movie)

(Producer)

Biography

Described by an associate as "a big jovial bear", Robert Downey Sr translated his irreverent, mordant humor to the screen as the writer-director of several experimental cult classics of the late 1960s and early 70s. Downey had worked in advertising and lampooned that business in the movie everyone associates with him, "Putney Swope" (1969), about the hilarious changes made by a token black member of an ad agency after he is accidentally elected Chairman of the Board. Though his greatest success, "Putney Swope" appears dated today, and the richer-looking (Downey finally had some money to spend) "Greaser's Palace" (1972) may have withstood the test of time. A super-offbeat Jesus Christ parody with a Western setting, it offers some wonderful performances by Allan Arbus as a zoot-suited Jesus, Albert Henderson as head Greaser and Stan Gottlieb as the "wife" of a deformed Mexican with a lecherous yen for the Saviour, but despite the inspired hilarity, its 91 minute running time seems longer than that.

Relationships

Elsie Downey Actor

Wife
Married

Allyson Downey

Daughter
born c. October 1963

Robert Downey Jr. Actor

Son
Born April 4, 1965; mother, Elsie Ford Downey Appeared in films his father directed, including "Pound" (1970) and "Hugo Pool" (1997); acted together in "Johnny Be Good" (1988) and "Hail Caesar" (1994)

James Downey

Brother

Indio Downey

Grandson
son of Robert Jr and Deborah Falconer born in September 1993

Laura Ernst Actor

Wife
Married 1991 until her death Jan. 27, 1994 of complications from ALS Co-wrote "Hugo Pool" (1997), which he directed

Rosemary Rogers

Wife
Married May 8, 1998 in NYC

EDUCATION

dropped out of high school

Milestones

1997

Co-wrote (with late wife Laura) and directed "Hugo Pool"; Robert Jr played Franz Mazur

1997

Played recording studio manager in "Boogie Nights"

1994

Portrayed Dr. Kinkaid in the PBS miniseries "Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City"

1991

Wrote and directed "Too Much Sun", starring Robert Jr

1988

Lurked throughout the feature bomb "Johnny Be Good" as the incognito but hardly inconspicuous NCAA investigator

1988

Directed "Rented Lips" (scripted and produced by Martin Mull); Robert Jr had prominent role

1980

Co-wrote (with Chuck Barris) "The Gong Show Movie"

1980

Directed "Up the Academy"; star Ron Liebman had name taken off the credits and advertising, but film isn't that bad; screen debut of Ralph Macchio

1973

Directed the controversial CBS/Joseph Papp television adaptation of David Rabe's anti-Vietnam play "Sticks and Bones"

1972

Wrote, directed and produced "Greaser's Palace", an offbeat Jesus Christ parody with a Western setting; son Robert Jr appeared as a multi-talented child

1969

Directed and wrote "Pound"; son Robert Jr's first appearance in a film

1968

Feature directing and screenwriting debut, "Putney Swope"

1965

Drew first critical recognition for "Chafed Elbows"; wrote, directed and produced

1964

Medium-length directing and screenwriting debut (also producer), "Babo 73" (16mm, 57 mins)

Joined US Army at age 16; discharged three years later

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