Robert Downey, Sr.

Birth Name: Robert J. Elias, Jr.

Date of Birth: June 24, 1936

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

Date of Death: July 7, 2021

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

*75% Ashkenazi Jewish
*25% Irish

Robert Downey, Sr. was an American actor, director, producer, writer, and cinematographer. He was known for his film Putney Swope. He was also credited as Bob Downey, Sr.

Robert was the son of Elizabeth Jesse “Betty” (McLoughlin/McLauchlen), a model, and Robert R. Elias, who managed hotels and restaurants. His father and maternal grandmother were Ashkenazi Jewish. His maternal grandfather had Irish ancestry. He was raised in Rockville Centre.

Robert took the surname of his stepfather James Downey.

He had two children, including actor, musician, and producer Robert Downey, Jr., with his former wife, actress Elsie Ann (Ford). He was married to Laura Ernst, until her death, and then to Rosemary Rogers, until his death.

Robert’s paternal grandfather was Yosef/Joseph/Iosel W. Elias/Eliashovich (the son of Meyer Eliasovitz/Elias/Eliashovich and Bealia/Beylia Cohen). Yosef was a Jewish emigrant, from Jonava, Kaunas, Lithuania. Meyer was the son of Itzko Eliashovich.

Robert’s paternal grandmother was Golda/Gussie/Augusta Goldberg (the daughter of Moses Chies “Morris” Goldberg and Khala/Khaia/Chala Gitel “Ida” Algaze/Algazy). Golda was a Jewish emigrant, from Prienai/Pren, Kaunas, Lithuania. Khaia was the daughter of Hyrom Alyiza and Libbie.

Robert’s maternal grandfather was James Robert McLauchlen (the son of John Robert McLauchlen and Jessie Murray). James was born in Massachusetts, to parents from Canada, and had Irish ancestry. John was from New Brunswick, the son of James McLauchlen and Sarah, or of John McLauchlen and Elizabeth. Jessie was from Nova Scotia, the daughter of John Murray and Mary.

Robert’s maternal grandmother was Ellenore/Eleanor “Ella” Ormay (the daughter of Rudolph Ormay and Ilke/Ilka Helen Stern). Ellenore was a Hungarian Jewish emigrant. Rudolph was the son of Herman Ormay and Elizabeth Heiman. Ilke was the daughter of Rudolf Stern and Ilke Rosisatier.

Source: Genealogy of Robert Downey, Sr. –

Family history of Robert’s father –

Robert’s father on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Robert’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Death record of Robert’s maternal great-grandfather, Rudolph Ormay –

Death record of Robert’s maternal great-grandmother, Ilke/Ilka Helen (Stern) Ormay –

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