Hollywood actor Robert Downey, Jr. is in mourning following the death of his mother.
The Iron Man star's actress mom Elsie passed away on Monday (22Sep14) at the age of 80, and the Oscar nominee shared the sad news in a post on his Facebook.com page on Friday (26Sep14).
Downey, Jr. posted a detailed letter about her life, revealing she battled alcoholism in the 1970s but eventually got sober and later inspired her son to kick his own addictions. She also suffered from heart disease and endured a number of health problems this year (14).
He writes, "My mom passed away early this week... I wanna say something about her life, and a generic 'obit' won't suffice... While I strived to have the kind of success that eluded her, my own addiction repeatedly forbade it. In the summer of 2004, I was in bad shape. 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 (drugs) since...
"Many fond memories of her in the last few years...holidays, kid-stuff, her strutting around with a walking stick. I knew it was difficult, and understood as the visits got shorter. In March, she suffered another cardiac arrest and was put on life support. Her wishes were to be left to die if there wasn't a reasonable chance of recovery, which for some time there was. I returned from filming the Avengers sequel in June, went straight to see her. To my amazement, she was completely lucid, interactive, mugging + pulling faces. We couldn't speak 'cause she had a tracheal tube.
"I wondered if she might just beat the odds once more. Another set of seizures answered that, and we brought her home for hospice. She died @ 11 p.m., September 22nd, survived by her extremely loving and tolerant partner of 37 years, Jonas Kerr. She was my role model as an actor, and as a woman who got sober and stayed that way. She was also reclusive, self-deprecating, a stoic Scotch-German rural Pennsylvanian, a ball buster, stubborn, and happy to hold a grudge... That's all her...and I wouldn't have it any other way. If anyone out there has a mother, and she's not perfect, please call her and say you love her anyway..."
Elsie starred in many of her husband Robert Downey, Sr.'s movies before retiring from acting. The couple divorced in 1975.