Last Updated: March 11, 2024
Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$4 Million
Jun 24, 1936 - Jul 7, 2021 (85 years old)
United States of America
Film director, Actor, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Cinematographer
United States of America
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What was Robert Downey, Sr.'s Net Worth?

Robert Downey, Sr. was an American actor and filmmaker who had a net worth of $4 million at the time of his death. Robert died on July 7, 2021 at the age of 85. Though he did have a successful career of his own, Robert will always be best known for being the father and namesake of Academy Award winning actor Robert Downey, Jr.

Early Life

He was born Robert John Elias Jr. on June 24, 1936, in New York City. His father, Robert Elias Sr., was a motel owner, and his mother, Elizabeth McLauchlen, was a model. Robert grew up in Rockville Centre, Long Island, and attended the Putney School in Vermont. At some point his parents divorced and his mother would later marry a man named James Downey. In the early 1950s, Robert wanted to enlist in the US Army. He was under 18 at this point so he opted to use his stepfather's last name on his Army enlistment papers, hoping his true age wouldn't be obvious/traceable. The trick worked and from that point on he went by Robert Downey. It wasn't until decades later that he would be known as "Robert Downey, Sr." And that name only truly stuck after his son became a famous actor under the name "Robert Downey, Jr."


Robert Downey began his film career in the early 1960s, making low-budget, underground films that challenged mainstream Hollywood conventions. His first feature film, "Babo 73" (1964), was a satirical take on the presidency of John F. Kennedy. He gained wider recognition with the release of "Chafed Elbows" (1966) and "No More Excuses" (1968), both of which showcased his absurdist humor and experimental style.

In 1969, Downey Sr. directed his most famous work, "Putney Swope," a scathing satire of the advertising industry and race relations in America. The film became a cult classic and established Downey Sr. as a leading figure in the counterculture movement.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Downey Sr. continued to make provocative, offbeat films such as "Pound" (1970), "Greaser's Palace" (1972), and "America" (1986). He also ventured into mainstream Hollywood, directing the comedy "Up the Academy" (1980) and the drama "Hugo Pool" (1997), which starred his son Robert Downey Jr.


Personal Life & Death

Robert Downey Sr. was married three times. His first marriage was to actress Elsie Ann Downey (née Ford), with whom he had two children, actress/writer Allyson Downey and actor Robert Downey Jr. The couple divorced in 1975. He later married actress Laura Ernst in 1991, and they remained together until her death in 1994. In 1998, he married Rosemary Rogers, author of the bestselling novel "Saints Preserve Us!".

Downey Sr. had a tumultuous personal life, struggling with drug addiction, which he eventually overcame. He became a source of support for his son, Robert Downey Jr., who also battled substance abuse issues.

On July 7, 2021, Robert Downey Sr. passed away in his sleep at his home in New York City, at the age of 85. He had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than five years.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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