Veteran filmmaker and actor Robert Downey Sr died last night at the age of 85. His son, Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. shared the news on Instagram saying, his father passed away in the sleep peacefully, in New York City. Robert Jr referred to his father as a “true maverick filmmaker” as he was completely optimistic throughout his life and especially during his illness. Robert Downey Sr was fighting Parkinson’s disease for the last few years.
Robert Downey Sr was a famous name in the independent US cinema between 1950s and 1960s, he is mainly remembered for his incredible writing and direction in 1969 satire “Putney Swope”.
All Downey Sr movies were made in a very small budget and portrays a counter-culture ethos and cutting humour. The story of his famous satire, Putney Swope was all about the advertising world of Madison Avenue. Some other movies that he directed are, Balls Bluff of 1961, Babo 73 that was released in 1964, and Greaser’s Palace of 1972.
Putney Swope: Life-Changing Satire From Downey Sr
As per the critics of New York times films, Putney Swope was the complete package of, “funny, brilliant, obscene, disjointed, marvelous, unintelligible, relevant and sophomoric” satire. On the other side, New York daily news referred the satire as, “the most offensive picture” they have ever seen.
On a positive note, Putney Swope, became a cult classic and in 2016 it was admitted into the national film registry of the US Library of Congress.
Talking about Putney Swope, Wheeler Winston Dixon in his book Film Talk: Directors At Work said that, “Movies like Putney Swope and Greaser’s Palace has paved the way for a new generation of filmmakers to come.”
He further added, “Downey’s films during that era were strictly take-no-prisoners affairs, with minimal budget and outrageous satire, effectively pushing forward the counterculture agenda of the day, and bitingly showcasing the inherent hypocrisy of human interaction. “
Downey Sr made his last public remarkable appearance as an actor in the 2011 movie Tower Heist. The movie also starred actors like Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, and Casey Affleck. And as a Director his last remarkable project was Hugo Pool that came out in 1997, and Rittenhouse Square, a documentary that was released in 2005.
Downey Sr always tried to keep his personal and professional life away from each other. But in 2001, when Robert Downey Jr, who was nominated for the Oscar, was facing drug charges, Downey Sr talked about the negatives of being a part of the film industry, in an interview with New York Times.
He said, “Life is too easy when you are a movie star. People will to anything you want and get you anything you want. Hollywood is a horrible place”.
Downey Sr was having three wives. First off, he married actress Elsie Anne from which he had two children – Allyson Downey and Robert Downey Jr. His second wife was Laurna Ernst, and after that he married to the best selling author, Rosemary Rogers.
Lastly, we the team of TheTealMango express our sorrow and condolences on losing this great actor, and director and pray to God to give strength to his family and friends.