Media scrutiny often accompanies celebrities, and those in proximity or associated with them often find themselves in the limelight. Avri Roel Downey, the daughter of movie producer Susan Downey and renowned actor Robert Downey Jr., widely recognized as Iron Man, stands as a prime example of how affiliation with prominent figures can elevate one’s fame.
Early Life and Family
Avri Roel Downey was born on 4 November 2014, in Los Angeles, California to Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey. She currently resides in East Hampton, New York with her parents and older brother, Exton Elias Downey. She also has a brother named Indio Falconer Downey from his father’s previous marriage to actress-singer Deborah Falconer.
— Robert Downey Jr FR (@RDJFrance) November 4, 2017
Her first name, pronounced Ay-Vree, carries a melodic grace. Meanwhile, her middle name, Roel, weaves a sweet tribute to the roots of her family tree. The initial duo of letters, “Ro,” resonates with familial echoes from her paternal grandfather Robert Downey Sr., and his beloved wife Rosemary. Additionally, it extends its embrace to maternal grandmother, Rosie, crafting a heartfelt homage. The final duo, “el,” extends a tribute to her paternal grandmother, Elsie, and maternal grandfather, Eliot Levin, completing a symphony of familial connections. Each letter forms a name intricately woven with love and respect for generations past.
Robert Downey, Jr. paid a loving tribute to his pregnant wife and soon-to-be-born daughter during his acceptance speech for the 2014 Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film at the BAFTA Los Angeles Jaguar Britannia Awards in Beverly Hills. It was easy to see how thrilled he was for the imminent birth of his only daughter. He shared how in today’s world, there’s a sense of knowing what to expect. Yet, when a ‘little soul’ enters their lives, it reveals that they don’t have all the answers. It dawns on them that life can still bring surprises, and there’s so much yet to understand.
Avri’s arrival was joyously announced by her father on his Facebook page. With pride, he declared that she’s a perfect 7lbs (3.2kgs), measuring 20ins (48cms), and has seamlessly inherited an array of Susan’s traits that have apparently overridden his ‘junk DNA’ Playfully, he added a touch of humor, envisioning a future of abundant photos shared everywhere until she turns 30, inevitably requesting him to cease the embarrassment-inducing documentation. Robert shared the first picture of Avri when she was five months old and wearing a yellow bonnet, on “The Late Show” – when the host, David Letterman, inquired about the dynamic between Avri and her brother, Exton, Robert mentioned that there was no rivalry at that point. However, he humorously added that Exton occasionally engages in some biting, expressing his desire to bite her every now and then.
A Glimpse of Avri’s Childhood
Robert revealed his playful fatherly spirit through whimsical Instagram posts. On those rare occasions when he posted pictures with Avri, the pair could be spotted engaging in lighthearted antics in their Malibu yard. One unforgettable moment occurred during Avri’s seventh birthday celebration, in which Robert eagerly immersed himself in the festivities, transforming into a makeshift piñata. He enthusiastically let the kids joyfully whack him with a stick, creating cherished memories of shared laughter and celebration.
In October 2022, during a pumpkin-carving session with Avri and her brother Exton, Robert approached them with an unconventional request, seeking their assistance in shaving his head for his role in HBO’s “The Sympathizer,” based on Viet Thanh Nguyen’s 2015 novel; showcasing their skills, the kids did an excellent job. When Robert inquired about what he owed them, Avri cleverly negotiated, stating they needed help with their Halloween project. The result: Robert ended up with a pumpkin drawing at the back of his head.
Avri’s Father – Robert John Downey Jr.
Robert John Downey Jr. was born on 4 April 1965, in New York City, USA. He entered the world as a part of a family deeply rooted in the entertainment industry, as his father, Robert Downey Sr., wore multiple hats as a filmmaker, actor, and writer, while his mother, Elsie Ann Downey, was an actress.
Robert Jr. has openly shared that growing up with Sr. as a father was complex. Much of Sr.’s focus was dedicated to chasing his artistic inspirations; there were moments when Sr. would take him to watch movies that he found intriguing, albeit not always suitable for a child, inadvertently forgetting that his son was still in his formative years.
Sr. also became a drug addict, primarily using marijuana and cocaine. In 1978, Robert’s parents divorced, and he chose to live with his father. Although his father eventually transformed his life after marrying his second wife, actress Laura Ernst, Robert’s own journey took a longer path. Laura passed away in 1994, and Sr. married author and humorist Rosemary Rogers in 1998.
Robert Downey Jr. initiated his acting career at a tender age, making early appearances in films directed by his father. In 1970 at the age of five, he marked his silver screen debut by portraying a puppy in the comedy “Pound,” a film directed and written by his father; his earliest recollections involve being on sets, surrounded by cameras. His father noted that even at such a young age, it appeared as though Robert knew what he was doing. During this period, Sr. subconsciously sensed that his son was destined to become an actor.
In “Greaser’s Palace” (1972), characterized as an acid western, Robert had the opportunity to collaborate with both his parents – his father served as the writer and director, while his mother portrayed the character “The Woman.” In the film, Robert played her son, who met a tragic fate but was later resurrected. Reflecting on this experience, Robert expressed a sense of pride, emphasizing that he was old enough to comprehend and appreciate his involvement in the movie.
Robert Jr. joined the famed “Brat Pack,” alongside Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez and Judd Nelson, marking his presence in teen-oriented coming-of-age films during the 1980s. He garnered attention for his roles in films such as “Less Than Zero” (1987) in which he portrayed a drug addict. His performances during this period showcased his versatility and skill. His acting coach recognized him as a standout talent, attributing his excellence to a remarkable range, depth and vulnerability.
One of his notable roles came in “Chaplin” (1992) in which he took on the challenge of portraying the legendary silent film actor Charlie Chaplin. This role earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, further solidifying his reputation as a talented and accomplished actor.
Despite early successes, Robert Jr. faced tough personal challenges, particularly dealing with substance abuse. His own father introduced him to marijuana at just six years old—a choice his father deeply regretted. Growing up surrounded by the complexities of drug culture unfortunately contributed to Robert’s own struggles.
These battles with addiction led to legal troubles, including multiple arrests related to drug offenses. In 1996, a significant incident occurred when he was caught with heroin, cocaine, and an unloaded .357-caliber Magnum, for which he received a three-year probation sentence with mandatory drug testing. Skipping these tests took him down a risky path, resulting in a longer stay, first in a county jail, and later in a state prison.
Remarkably, amidst these personal challenges, his acting career endured. Despite facing rehab programs and repeated arrests, he showed resilience, continuing to make significant contributions to the entertainment industry. Naturally, there were missed opportunities, but fortunately for him, the best was yet to come through his acting prowess and charismatic presence on the screen.
After a turbulent period, Robert Downey Jr. made a comeback in the mid-2000s, which included notable performances in films such as “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” (2005). He expressed that portraying Harry Lockhart, a lovable yet not-so-intelligent character, was a refreshing departure from his usual fast-talking, smart-guy roles. Despite the film’s lackluster performance at the box office, he cherished the experience, finding delight in shooting the absurd scenes. He had nothing but fond memories of doing this movie.
One of the most significant chapters in Robert’s career came with his portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He first appeared in the title role “Iron Man” (2008), which had a worldwide gross of close to $600 million, and continued to play the character in several subsequent MCU films, solidifying his status as a Hollywood superstar.
A Documentary on Avri’s Grandfather
Robert Jr. co-produced and starred in a poignant black-and-white documentary entitled “Sr.” It delves into his father’s filmmaking career, and how his love and passion for the craft were passed down to him. It also explores the complex relationship between father and son, shedding light on their shared struggles with addiction. Initially premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and Castro Theatre in San Francisco, the film later became available on Netflix in 2022, and received the award for Best Documentary Feature at the National Board of Review.
Filmed over the last years of his father’s life, the documentary serves as a heartfelt attempt to capture as much as possible of his father’s essence. During this time, his father was grappling with Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder primarily affecting motor skills. A notable aspect of the documentary is that, at times, the director Chris Smith graciously hands over the directorial reins to Robert Downey Sr., allowing the audience a unique perspective as the elder Downey provides his own directions on how specific shots should be filmed.
In 2019, some of the filming took place at their East Hampton home. Avri’s adorable spontaneity was evident when she eagerly ran to her father in the garden, where her brother Joshua was playing with water balloons. However, indoors, when Robert playfully asked her to give a little wave for the camera, she promptly ducked and hid from view. Nonetheless, she had no qualms about sweetly singing Happy Birthday to her grandfather.
Towards the film’s conclusion, a more melancholic mood emerges as Sr.’s health declines – despite compromised mobility, he persists in editing a portion of the film from his bed. In Sr.’s final moments, Robert sits by his father, asking questions, only to face the heartbreaking reality that Sr. fails to recognize his own son. Reflecting on the project, Robert shares that there was no clear objective, but he was aware that it would encompass the final chapter of his father’s life. In the end, he eloquently expresses, ‘I love him for what he did. I love him for what he didn’t do.’
Avri’s Mother – Susan Downey
Susan Nicole Levin was born on 6 November 1973, in Schaumburg, Illinois, USA. She distinguished herself as the class valedictorian at Schaumburg High School in 1991, and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.
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Her journey in the entertainment industry commenced with an internship at Threshold Entertainment. Over time, she ascended to a prominent role at Dark Castle Entertainment, a production company founded by Joel Silver. There, she not only served as co-president, but also held the position of Executive Vice President of Production at Silver Pictures. In these roles, she played a pivotal part in overseeing the development and production of feature films released under both banners. Notable among them is “Swordfish” (2001), starring Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and John Travolta, and the co-production of “Cradle 2 The Grave” (2002), featuring Jet Li.
Love Story of Avri’s Parents
Robert Jr. and Susan’s love story is a tale that combines personal and professional connections, overcoming challenges, and enduring love. Here’s a glimpse into their journey:
Robert and Susan initially crossed paths professionally while collaborating on the psychological horror thriller “Gothika” (2003). He held the lead actor role, while she served as an executive producer. Susan’s initial impression of Robert was a mix of interest and quirkiness. She candidly admitted to being hesitant about dating a star from one of the films she was involved in, however, destiny had other plans, and soon enough, she found herself on a date with the actor. Their first public appearance as a couple was at the premiere of Robert’s musical, “The Singing Detective,” in October 2003, markig the beginning of their public journey together.
The professional collaboration provided an opportunity for Robert and Susan to get to know each other, and became a catalyst for a deeper connection. Despite the challenges and uncertainties in Robert’s life at that time, including struggles with substance abuse and legal issues, Susan looked beyond the surface and saw something special in him, recognizing his potential as a life partner. She was instrumental in Robert’s journey to recover, and Robert often speaks openly about how Susan’s support and love played a pivotal role in his personal and professional transformation. Their relationship serves as a testament to the power of love and commitment in overcoming challenges and building a life together.
The two became engaged in November 2003, and tied the knot on 27 August 2005, in a traditional Jewish ceremony in Amagansett, New York. The relationship between Robert Jr. and Susan Downey is often cited as a successful Hollywood marriage, blending both personal and professional aspects of their lives.
Beyond their personal connection, Robert and Susan forged a strong professional partnership. In 2010, they co-founded their own production company, Team Downey, which has been involved in producing various films and television projects. Notable productions from Team Downey include the “Sherlock Holmes” film series, which was a massive hit at the box-office, with Robert portraying the title role of the eccentric detective. In “The Judge” (2014), the production company’s inaugural in-house feature, he portrayed the character of a Chicago lawyer named Henry “Hank” Palmer, with Robert Duvall starring as Judge Joseph Palmer, Hank’s father. Additionally, Robert took on the titular role in the fantasy-adventure film “Dolittle” (2020).
As a growing child, Avri’s height and weight remain undisclosed. She possesses blonde hair and dark brown eyes.
Even with famous and successful parents, determining the net worth of a nine-year-old child such as Avri Roel Downey, especially one without any known independent income or assets, may not be applicable. The Downeys’ primary residence is a whimsical 19th-century windmill house in East Hampton, purchased in 2016 for $10.5 million. Additionally, they own a 6,500-square-foot binishell home on a seven-acre estate in Malibu, acquired in 2009 for $13.4 million, featured in Architectural Digest, and showcased as Avri’s parents gave a tour.
Avri’s mother Susan boasts an estimated net worth of $20 million. Meanwhile, Robert Downey Jr., recognized as one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood today, possesses a net worth estimated at $300 million, as of November 2023.