Jimmy Rich, who served as Robert Downey Jr.’s assistant since 2003, has died. He was 52.
Downey, 56, shared the news of the “terrible and shocking tragedy” on his Instagram page, where he revealed Rich was in a fatal car accident on Monday night around 8 p.m. The pair first worked together on 2003’s “The Singing Detective,” where Downey starred alongside Mel Gibson as detective novelist Dan Dark. In total, Rich served as Downey’s assistant on 22 feature-length projects, including every Marvel film with Tony Stark.
“This is not news,” Downey wrote. “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. Again, my condolences to his beautiful family, and the legacy of hope and redemption his life will continue to represent. Peace Be Unto You.”
Despite Downey leaving the Iron Man mantle behind, his Marvel family was still there to support him. Several co-stars such as Mark Ruffalo, Chris Pratt, Josh Brolin, Jeremy Renner and Clark Gregg commented on his post to express their condolences.
“Such a tragedy,” Ruffalo wrote. “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.”
“Oh no! 😢 I’m so sorry man,” Pratt wrote. “Im praying his family, you and yours. That sucks so bad. I’m so sorry to hear that. He was awesome. Such a tragedy.”
“Wow. Brother. What a devastating loss,” Renner wrote.
“No words,” Brolin wrote. “Just tears and gratitude for the gift that was him.”
“Ohhhhh man. I am so sorry @robertdowneyjr,” Gregg wrote.
Downey’s “Tropic Thunder” co-star Jack Black wrote, “Heartbroken. Such a good man.”
Captain America himself, Chris Evans, gave his own Instagram tribute to honor Rich’s legacy, sharing a picture of the two of them together.
“I don’t have the words,” Evans wrote. “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.”
Marvel Studios’ official Instagram page also paid tribute to Rich, writing: “Rest In Peace, Jimmy. You have been such a great friend to all of us at Marvel Studios for so many years. Your love and light were an inspiration to everyone that knew you. We will miss you.”