Robert Downey, Jr.

67th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Press Room

Downey in 2010, photo via PR Photos

Birth Name: Robert John Downey, Jr.

Place of Birth: Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: April 4, 1965

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish (three eighths), as well as English, Scottish, German, Swiss-German, and Irish

Robert Downey, Jr. is an American actor, musician, and producer, also credited simply as Robert Downey. He starred in many Hollywood films throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and more recently in Good Night, and Good Luck., Zodiac, Tropic Thunder, and as Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Robert is the son of actress Elsie Ann (Ford) and director, writer, and actor Robert Downey, Sr. His sister is actress Allyson Downey.

Robert’s father is of one half Lithuanian Jewish, one quarter Irish, and one quarter Hungarian Jewish, ancestry. Robert’s mother had Scottish, English, German, and Swiss-German ancestry. Robert’s father was born with the surname Elias, and later changed his surname to Downey, after his own stepfather. Robert is married to producer Susan Levin Downey; the two married in a Jewish ceremony (Susan is Jewish). Robert has a son with his former wife, singer and actress Deborah Falconer; and two children with Susan.

Robert’s paternal grandfather was Robert R. Elias (the son of Yosef/Joseph W. Elias and Golda/Gussie/Augusta Goldberg). Robert’s grandfather Robert Elias was born in New York. Yosef and Golda were Jewish emigrants, from Lithuania, Yosef from Jonava and Golda from Prienai/Pren. Yosef was the son of Meyer Eliasovitz/Elias and Bealia Cohen. Golda was the daughter of Moses Chies “Morris” Goldberg and Khala/Khaia/Chala Gitel “Ida” Algaze/Algazy.

Robert’s paternal grandmother was Elizabeth Jesse “Betty” McLoughlin/McLauchlen (the daughter of James Robert McLauchlen and Ellenore/Eleanor “Ella” Ormay). Elizabeth, who was a model, was born in New York. Robert’s great-grandfather James was born in Massachusetts, to parents from Canada, John Robert McLauchlen, from New Brunswick, and Jessie Murray, from Nova Scotia, and had Irish ancestry. Robert’s great-grandmother Ellenore was Jewish, and was born in Hungary, the daughter of Rudolph Ormay and Ilke/Ilka Helen Stern. Rudolph’s parents were Herman Ormay and Elizabeth Heiman. Ilke’s parents were Rudolf Stern and Ilke Rosisatier.

Robert’s maternal grandfather was John Webster “Eddie” Ford (the son of John Ford and Mary). Robert’s grandfather John had Scottish and English ancestry.

Robert’s maternal grandmother was Fay/Faye Marguerite Schoch (the daughter of Cyrus A. Schoch and Elsie May Peightal). Faye was born in Pennsylvania. Cyrus was the son of Henry Lewis Schoch, who was from Bavaria, Germany, and of Catherine/Katherine Schucker, who was also of German origin. Elsie was the daughter of James Peightal and Sarah Ann, who were of German and Swiss-German descent.

Downey in 1990, Creative Commons License photo credit: Alan Light

Sources: Genealogy of Robert Downey, Jr. – https://www.geni.com

Family history of Robert’s paternal grandfather, Robert R. Elias – http://www.248ancestors.com

Robert’s paternal grandfather, Robert R. Elias, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Robert’s paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Jesse “Betty” McLoughlin/McLauchlen, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Robert’s maternal grandmother, Fay/Faye Marguerite Schoch, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Genealogy of Robert’s maternal great-grandfather, Cyrus A. Schoch (focusing on his own father’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Interview with Robert, mentioning his background – http://www.nytimes.com

ethnic

Curious about ethnicity

63 Responses

  1. Obey says:

    He must have some descendant of Latinos as well. He looks like a Latino White European. In South America, France and even Poland, this phenotype with brown eyes is quite common.

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