Meet Susan Downey: Insights into the Life of Robert Downey Jr’s Wife

Share to

Featured image: Toiram (Michael Dawson), CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the luminous glare of stardom, it’s easy for the individuals closely associated with celebrities to be overshadowed. However, some manage to carve a niche of their own, standing as distinct individuals with stories worth telling. Such is the case with Susan Downey, illustriously known as Robert Downey Jr’s Wife, whose journey encapsulates more than just the title of a star spouse. 

This article aims to meticulously unravel the life of Susan Downey, shedding light on her professional endeavors, personal accomplishments, and the synergy of a relationship that thrives amidst the bustling life of Hollywood.

Susan Downey’s Early Life and Background

 Susan Downey, born Susan Nicole Levin on November 6, 1973, in Schaumburg, Illinois, hailed from a middle-class family, with her father being a businessman and her mother a housewife. Her high school years at Schaumburg High School were marked by excellent academic performance and active involvement in extracurricular activities, setting the foundation for her intriguing journey into the realm of entertainment.

Susan’s first brush with the entertainment industry was not a mere fluke but a pursuit stemming from a young age. By the age of 12, she had developed an unmistakable interest in the movie business, which later propelled her to move to California after her high school graduation in 1991, aiming to inch closer to her dreams​. The formative step towards actualizing her aspirations in the film sector came with her education at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. She graduated summa cum laude in 1995 with a BA in Production, a testament to her academic prowess and unwavering focus on her chosen career path​.

The cornerstone of Susan’s professional journey was laid at New Line Cinema, where she embarked on her film career working on the “Mortal Kombat” film franchise. This stint not only served as a gateway into the industry but also as a stepping stone towards more significant opportunities. Her career trajectory took a notable upswing when she joined Silver Pictures, a move that saw her assuming pivotal roles as the co-president of Dark Castle Entertainment and Executive Vice President of Production. During her tenure at Silver Pictures, starting from 1999, Susan was instrumental in steering the development and production of feature films like ‘Thir13en Ghosts’ and ‘Swordfish’​​. Before her life intertwined with Robert Downey Jr., she had already made a mark in the industry with her work on films such as ‘Gothika,’ ‘Orphan,’ ‘The Book of Eli,’ and ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ at Silver Pictures​.

The Meeting of Susan and Robert

The narrative of how Susan and Robert Downey Jr. met and how their relationship blossomed from colleagues to a romantic partnership is quite captivating. Their paths crossed in 2003 on the set of the film “Gothika,” which was produced by Susan. At this juncture, Robert Downey Jr. was grappling with drug addiction, having spent some time in jail and rehab, and was on the verge of losing his career in films. On the other hand, Susan was climbing the ladder in the entertainment industry and was one of the producers of “Gothika”.

Initially, the sparks that are often expected to fly when two souls destined for each other meet are conspicuously absent. Susan didn’t immediately feel drawn to him. In her own words, she found Robert to be “strange” and more of a “professor” or “someone’s older brother” rather than a potential romantic partner. On the other hand, Robert was battling his demons at the time, but the project “Gothika” became a turning point for him, professionally and personally.

Over time, the feelings evolved. A notable moment of change came about when Robert invited Susan to dinner one day after filming. Though initially hesitant, she agreed, and as he walked down the stairs toward her, she suddenly found him cute. Despite their apparent differences – Susan being an honor student and Robert being a high school dropout and recovering addict – they found an undeniable attraction and a connection that Susan described as magical. They chose to give their love a chance and to work through the challenges together. Susan’s support played a crucial role in helping Robert overcome his addiction, as she made it clear that for their relationship to work, he had to stay clean. Robert, acknowledging the importance of Susan in his life, bid farewell to drugs in 2003​​.

Their relationship solidified over time, and they got engaged, eventually tying the knot in August 2005. The couple welcomed their first child in 2012 and their second child in 2014, evolving into a family that supported each other through the ups and downs that came their way. Susan’s unwavering support and belief in Robert helped him rejuvenate his career, and Robert brought a whirlwind of creative, passionate energy into Susan’s life, enriching it beyond her professional achievements.

Marriage and Family Life

Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey’s marital journey began on August 27, 2005, when they exchanged vows following a two-year engagement period​​. Their union blossomed into a beautiful family, welcoming their first child, Exton Elias Downey, on February 7, 2012, and later, Avri Roel Downey, on November 4, 2014.

Their marriage has been depicted as a harmonious partnership both in personal and professional realms. They celebrated their love and the journey together by recreating a photo from their wedding day on their 18th wedding anniversary, sharing the joyous memory with their followers on Instagram​.

In their shared life, they stand as equals, navigating through the challenges and joys of raising their children together. Robert Downey Jr. has another son, Indio Falconer Downey, from a previous marriage, making them a blended family.

Besides the familial bond, they also share a professional bond. They’ve co-founded a production company named Team Downey, through which they collaborate on various film projects. This professional partnership signifies their shared interests and the harmony in their relationship, transcending from personal to professional spheres.

Susan Downey’s Role in Robert’s Career

Susan Downey’s role in Robert Downey Jr.’s career has been pivotal and transformative. When they met on the set of “Gothika” in 2003, Robert was grappling with drug addiction, which had cast a long shadow over his career. Susan’s support and steadfast belief in him played a crucial role in helping him overcome his addiction. Her presence in his life catalyzed a significant turnaround, setting him on a path of recovery and professional rejuvenation.

Their professional camaraderie blossomed into the formation of their production company, Team Downey, in 2010. This venture has been a conduit for their shared passion for storytelling and a testament to their harmonious working relationship. Through Team Downey, they have collaborated on several projects, including films like “The Judge” (2014), where Robert starred and Susan co-produced, showcasing a seamless blend of their professional and personal dynamics. Their collaborative efforts extend to other projects, with Susan often involved in productions featuring Robert, ensuring a shared creative vision and a supportive working environment.

Balancing work and family has been a central theme in their narrative. Despite their demanding careers, they’ve nurtured a supportive family environment. Their shared responsibilities at work and home reflect a balanced partnership, with both contributing to their professional ventures while being actively involved in raising their children.

Privacy and Coping with Fame

Coping with fame and maintaining a semblance of privacy can be challenging for individuals and families immersed in the spotlight of Hollywood. For Susan Downey and her family, navigating these waters has been a part of their journey.

The Downeys have showcased snippets of their private life on special occasions. For instance, they celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary by recreating and sharing a photo from their wedding day on Instagram, a glimpse into their enduring relationship shared with the public.

However, not all aspects of their lives are shared with the public, and they seem to have a balanced approach to what they choose to share and what they keep private. For instance, their wedding in 2005 was a glamorous affair in the Hamptons with notable figures like Sting and Billy Joel serenading, yet the details of their family life, especially regarding their children, are kept relatively private​.

Their professional collaborations, such as through their production company, Team Downey, are well-documented and publicly discussed, yet they manage to keep a level of separation between their professional and personal lives. For example, discussions regarding their professional projects are made public, like when they were pitched storylines for HBO projects, showcasing their active involvement in the industry while maintaining a level of privacy around their personal lives.

The nature of their relationship and how they handle the intricacies of fame and privacy demonstrate a balanced approach, allowing them a space of normalcy amidst the whirlpool of Hollywood fame. Through selective sharing and maintaining a clear boundary between their personal and professional lives, Susan Downey and her family navigate the challenges that come with fame, striving for a balanced life in the public eye.

Future Projects and Endeavors

While specific details about Susan Downey’s future projects and initiatives may not be readily available, it’s evident that she and her husband, Robert Downey Jr., will likely continue their collaborative efforts through their production company, Team Downey. 

Given their successful track record, it’s easy to anticipate their involvement in developing and producing compelling films and TV shows. Susan Downey’s role in the entertainment industry is likely to remain influential as a producer and possibly in exploring new avenues within the industry. Her dedication to storytelling and her ability to balance professional and personal life suggest a promising future in the world of entertainment.


Susan Downey’s journey from a Hollywood producer to Robert Downey Jr.’s wife is a captivating narrative of love, support, and transformation. Her influence on Robert’s career and their harmonious balance between public life and privacy underscore a resilient partnership. As they continue to collaborate professionally and nurture their family, Susan Downey’s legacy in the entertainment industry remains one of enduring impact and promise.

The Author

Scroll to Top