While there’s no denying every celebrity has a professional entourage that helps them be as good as they appear, the bond between Robert Downey Jr. and his squad has always been distinct. After all, considering the emotion-filled rollercoaster journey of this now legendary Marvel actor, he has naturally built near-familial associations with those to have been by his side for years. Amongst them was actually none other than Jimmy Rich, which is why he is paid a much-deserving tribute at the end of episode 1 in the star’s HBO Max original series ‘Downey’s Dream Cars.’
Who Was Jimmy Rich?
Although Los Angeles, California, native Jimmy had reportedly developed a keen interest in the entertainment industry quite early on, he only stepped into it for good at the age of 35 in 2003. The truth is he’d recently landed the position of Robert Downey Jr.’s assistant, unaware of the fact it would spark such a close personal relationship that he’d soon evolve into much more for the actor. In fact, in the latter’s own words, his adjutant was his willing “recovery brother” as well as “right-hand man” long before he even became who he is today, meaning he witnessed the entire ride.
Robert’s 2003 ‘The Singing Detective’ was actually Jimmy’s first project, and it went so well that the duo went on to work together in another 21 films, including all of the former’s Marvel movies. As for who this assistant really was as a person; well, he just lived to help others in any capacity possible, which he even made clear in an interview, as seen above. He said, “My drive and my ambition and my determination and all that stuff is simply to be of service to others… When ‘right-hand man’ is kind of like your handle, so what’s the job description? Honestly, there’s no job description.”
How Did Jimmy Rich Die?
It was Wednesday, May 5, 2021, when Jimmy met his unfortunate, untimely demise in the form of a car accident — he was 52 years old and seemingly had a partner and a child waiting at home. “This is not news,” his long-time boss penned the following morning to confirm his passing, as seen below. “This is a terrible and shocking tragedy. Jimmy Rich was in a fatal car accident at approx. 8pm yesterday. He was a brother, my right hand man, an uncle to our kids, and beloved by all who experienced his singular character and wit.. our thoughts go to his relatives, friends, co-workers, and all the fans who knew him as the man who supported every step of my recovery, life and career.”
Robert then added, “Again, my condolences to his beautiful family, and the legacy of hope and redemption his life will continue to represent. Peace Be Unto You.” We should mention that several others from the film industry also publicly mourned Jimmy, including Chris Pratt, Clark Gregg, Jack Black, Jeremy Renner, Josh Brolin, and Mark Ruffalo, amongst many others.
While Jack Black, who’d worked alongside Robert and Jimmy in ‘Tropic Thunder’ (2008), responded to the aforecited post by writing, “Heartbroken. Such a good man,” Mark Ruffalo, aka The Hulk, expressed, “Such a tragedy. Such a good man. I have known him almost as long as I have known you, Robert. Breaks my heart to have Jimmy go over to the other world. You will be missed Jimmy. Thanks for always being real, always being there to lend a hand and showing the way of light forward to so many people. Another sad day.”
Then Chris Evans, the original Captain America, shared his own personal tribute to Jimmy on Instagram by candidly penning, “I don’t have the words. Jimmy Rich was unlike anyone else. He left an indelible impression on everyone he met. No one more so than my brother @robertdowneyjr. They were inseparable. I’m sending all my love to Jimmy’s friends and family. Be sure to hug your loved ones tightly and please take the time today to show Downey how many people love him and are here for him during this incredibly dark time.”