Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr., Hungary

The Hungarian Hollywood Council’s aim is to discover Hungarian roots in the legendary history of Hollywood and to commemorate all the Hungarian producers, directors, actors and actresses in the American film industry. A few days ago, the council presented interesting research to the public: they discovered that Robert Downey Jr. has Hungarian ancestors.

The Hungarian founders of Hollywood

Robert Downey Jr. is best known from the Marvel movies Iron Man and Avengers, but he had many more iconic roles, for example, Sherlock Holmes. He got his first role from his father in the movie Pound when he was only five years old. During his amazing career, he won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award. According to Forbes Magazine, he is the third highest-grossing actor in Hollywood.

HVG reported that the actor’s Hungarian ancestors were mongers. The council gave a detailed report about the marvellous discovery on its official Facebook page. The world-famous actor was born on April 4th, 1965, in Greenwich Village which is in New York City, USA. His parents are Robert Downey Sr. and Elsie Downey. According to the council’s research, Robert Downey Jr.’s great grandfather was a Hungarian man called Jakab Stern.

Robert Downey Jr., Marvel, actor, Hollywood, Hungarian

Jakab Stern was born in 1820 and worked as a monger till the end of his life in the Hungarian town Tata (Komárom-Esztergom county) and in the nearby towns. His wife, Eleonóra Deutschländer, was born eight years later. After Jakab Stern’s death, his wife married another man called Simon Deutsch, and they hired a mill in Szomód, not far from Tata. Eleonóra Deutschländer gave the property to her daughter called Ilka Stern (born in Hungary, 1836) who married Rudolf Ormay. She gave birth to four children and the youngest of them, Eleonóra Ella, was the great-grandmother of the American actor. The family emigrated to the United States at the end of the 1880s.

Hungarian town Tata receives international distinction

Robert Downey Jr.’s great-grandmother, Eleanore Ella Ormay, married an American man in 1911 called James McLauchen. They had one daughter called Betty McLauchen who is the actor’s grandmother. The husband of Betty McLauchen is called Robert Elias, and they had their only child Robert Elias (today: Robert Downey Sr.) who is the father of Robert Downey Jr. All the members of his family are buried in one of Budapest’s Jewish cemeteries.

Robert Downey Jr., Hungarian, cemetery, history

Famous Hungarian actors in Hollywood include Tony Curtis who was the most famous star of Hollywood in the ’50s and ’60s. Academy Award-winning actress Rachel Weisz and Drew Barrymore both have Hungarian heritage on their mothers’ side. Other honourable mentions are Harry Houdini, Zsa Zsa Gábor, Mickey Hargitay, Béla Lugosi and Johnny Weismüller.

Although Hungary has a different mentality from the USA, there were a few attempts when designers tried to create a Hungarian superhero. The most famous one is Hungaria Captain based on the character of Captain America. He is the protagonist of the Hungarian Superhero Tales where he faces many adventures based on American influence from the big superhero tales.

Captain Hungaria, superhero, Hungary
Photo: Facebook


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