ByJess O'Kane, writer at
Big in Japan
Jess O'Kane

Robert Downey Jr. has taken to Facebook to pay tribute to his mother Elsie Ann Ford, who died earlier this week. And what he said will make you want to call your own parents immediately.

RDJ is soon to begin the publicity tour for The Judge, but the loss has clearly had a devastating effect on the troubled star.

He refused to call the tribute an obituary, saying that a "generic 'obit' won't suffice."

Instead, he recounted the hard times they shared together, as Elsie struggled with addiction, a failing acting career and bringing her two children up.

A young Elsie Ford
A young Elsie Ford
Elsie Ann Ford was born outside Pittsburgh in April of 1934, daughter of an engineer who worked on the Panama Canal, and mother who ran a jewelry shop in Huntingdon, where they settled....a bona fide "Daughter Of The American Revolution."
In the mid '50s, she dropped out of college and headed to NY, with dreams of becoming a comedienne. In '62, she met my dad, (who proposed at a Yankees/Orioles game). They married, had my sister Allyson in '63 and me in '65...

After the marriage fell apart and Elsie moved in with her long-time partner Jonas Kerr, RDJ remembers growing up in a "2 room 5 story walk up in Manhattan after that...Bunsen burner for a stove, cockroaches, broken dreams..."

After Downey Jr. found his own success in the late 1980s and began a decade of substance abuse, he credited Elsie with getting him clean:

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.

Although she too eventually quit drinking, Elsie's health had deteriorated rapidly in the past few years, and she was eventually given a tracheal tube, meaning that she couldn't speak to her son.

Nonetheless, Elsie remained close to Downey Jr.'s growing family:

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. Got an iPad, pictures, videos, the whole 9....

RDJ also credits his mother for his strong personality:

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.

Downey Jr.'s love for his mother comes through loud and clear. He asked something special of his fans to mark her passing:

If anyone out there has a mother, and she's not perfect, please call her and say you love her anyway...

What a heartbreakingly honest way to say goodbye. It really makes you appreciate the family you have - however imperfect they might be.

You can read the full post here.

(Source: Vanity Fair)


Are you moved by RDJ's words for his mother?


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