Robert Downey Jr has posted a touching tribute to his mother on Facebook following her death earlier this week at the age of 80. Writing that a “generic obit won’t suffice”, Downey spoke at length about Elsie Ann Downey’s life as well as her professional and personal influence on him.

robert downey jrRobert Downey Jr. has paid tribute to his mother Elsie

“As promotion for The Judge kicks off this weekend, I feel the need to run the risk of over sharing…..,” began Downey. “My mom passed away early this week....I wanna say something about her life, and a generic "obit" won't suffice…”

Downey then went on to speak at length about Elsie’s life, starting with her upbringing outside Pittsburgh in the late 1930s.

He described how she had “dropped out of college and headed to NY, with dreams of becoming a comedienne” in the the mid ‘50s, before meeting Robert Downey Sr. in 1962. A year later the couple married and together they had a daughter, Allyson in 1963 and Robert Jr in 1965.

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But by the 1970s Elsie was batting alcoholism, an addiction which she would eventually seek treatment for and overcome by the 90s. “While I strived to have the kind of success that eluded her, my own addiction repeatedly forbade it,” wrote Downey. “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 since.”

Despite battling poor health, Elsie became a big part in the life of her grandsons Indio and Exton and Downey writes he has “many fond memories” of his mother 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.” the actor continued.

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“She was my role model as an actor, and as a woman who got sober and stayed that way,” finished Downey. “She was also reclusive, self-deprecating, a stoic Scotch-German rural Pennsylvanian, a ball buster, stubborn, and happy to hold a grudge.My ambition, tenacity, loyalty, "moods," grandiosity, occasional passive aggression, and my faith....That's all her...and I wouldn't have it any other way.”

The Iron Man star then ended his tribute, “If anyone out there has a mother, and she's not perfect, please call her and say you love her anyway...Elsie Ann Downey. 1934-2014.”

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