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Robert Downey Jr. Pens Touching Tribute to Late Mother on Facebook

By    |   Monday, 29 Sep 2014 10:56 AM

Robert Downey Jr.'s mother passed away last week, and on Friday the actor penned a heartfelt Facebook note about her, saying "a generic 'obit' won't suffice."

The daughter of an engineer who worked on the Panama Canal and the manager of a jewelry shop, Elsie Ann Ford "dropped out of college and headed to NY, with dreams of becoming a comedienne" in the mid-1950s.

According to the post, she met Robert Downey Sr. in 1962, and they had Robert Jr. just a year later.

"There was another 'revolution' of sorts going on at that time, of underground counter-culture film and theatre . . . and with her as Bob Sr's muse, they jumped in wholeheartedly," with her acting in "Chafed Elbows," "Greaser's Palace," and "Moment To Moment," in which she played 17 characters.

"By the mid '70s, the downside of drug culture caught up with many artists," wrote Robert Downey Jr. "She was an alcoholic."

She eventually split with her husband, and moved Robert and his sister to Manhattan, where they lived in a small, walk-up apartment with her new boyfriend, Jonas. That time in the young actor's life was formative, he lived amidst a "Bunsen burner for a stove, cockroaches, [and] broken dreams."

By the time the 1990s rolled around, Elsie finally decided to get sober. She was successful, and her experience would later inform her son's own struggle with addiction.

"In the summer of 2004, I was in bad shape," he wrote, remembering his darker days.

"She called me out of the blue, and I admitted everything. I don't remember what she said, but I haven't drank or used since."

On the heels of the confession and recovery came a reunification of the family, having found strength in overcoming their past failings.

"Eventually, when finances allowed, we were able to move her out to LA. She had a special affinity for my firstborn son Indio, and really got a kick out of Exton."

Elsie would eventually succumb to a number of medial ailments, and pass away with her family and longtime partner Jonas by her side.

Downey reported that she was lucid to the end, and that "She was my role model as an actor, and as a woman who got sober and stayed that way."

 


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Robert Downey Jr.'s mother passed away last week, and on Friday the actor penned a heartfelt Facebook note about her, saying "a generic 'obit' won't suffice."
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Monday, 29 Sep 2014 10:56 AM
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