Who is Susan Downey?
American film producer Susan Nicole Downey (nee Levin) was born in Schaumburg, Illinois USA, on 6 November 1973, making Scorpio her zodiac sign. She has 36 producing credits, but is perhaps known best for being the wife of famous American actor, screenwriter and producer Robert Downey Jr, who’s appeared in nearly 100 TV series and movies; Robert’s perhaps known best for playing Tony Stark – aka Iron Man – in many Marvel movies, and has won 43 of his 165 award nominations, including two Oscar nominations for his performance in the 1993 movie “Chaplin” and the 2009 film “Tropic Thunder”.
Education and early life
Susan was raised in Schaumburg alongside her brother Richie Levin, by their father Elliott Levin who was a businessman, and mother Rosie who was a housewife.
Susan was 12 when she fell in love with movies, as she watched TV with her brother on a daily basis; although she initially wanted to act, Susan eventually changed her mind.
She studied at Schaumburg High School and was class valedictorian; Susan was into several activities during her time there, as she took creative writing lessons, appeared in school plays and played volleyball. She matriculated in 1991 and then enrolled at University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 1995.
Susan then began working at Threshold Entertainment, where she was in charge of overseeing the development of various projects, such as the movies “Mortal Kombat” and “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation”, as well as the series “Mortal Kombat: Conquest”, all of which were based on the critically acclaimed video game “Mortal Kombat”.
Susan’s film producing debut was the 2002 mystery horror thriller “Ghost Ship”, which starred Gabriel Byrne and Julianna Margulies, and was directed by Steve Beck. It follows a salvage crew working on the Bering Sea as they’ve discovered a long-lost 1962 passenger ship, and the movie was nominated for a 2003 Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Worst Film.
Susan then produced the 2003 crime action “Cradle 2 to the Grave”, the 2003 mystery horror thriller “Gothika” and the 2005 horror thriller “House of Wax”. She produced the critically acclaimed 2005 crime mystery comedy “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, which starred Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr, and was written and directed by Shane Black. It follows a thief who’s been mistaken for an actor, and has been sent to train in Hollywood; the movie won five of its 21 award nominations. Susan could then have been seen producing the horror thriller “The Reaping”, the science fiction thriller “The Invasion”, and the crime action “The Brave One”, all released in 2007.
She produced the hit 2008 crime action thriller “RocknRolla”, which won one of its six award nominations, and the critically acclaimed 2009 mystery horror thriller “Orphan”, which won one of its eight award nominations. Also in 2009, Susan produced the action adventure mystery “Sherlock Holmes”, which starred Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr, and was directed by Guy Ritchie. It follows Detective Sherlock Holmes and his partner Watson as they’re solving a crime, and the movie won 10 of its 41 award nominations, including two Oscar nominations for Best Achievement in Art Direction and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures. Some of Susan’s following work was on the 2009 crime mystery action “Whiteout”, the 2010 action adventure “The Book of Eli” and in the same year the action science fiction “Iron Man 2”.
She produced the 2010 comedy “Due Date”, which starred Zack Galifianakis and Robert Downey Jr, and was directed by Todd Phillips. It follows father-to-be Peter Highman who’s hitched a ride with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay, and the movie was nominated for seven awards. Susan then worked on the action mystery thriller “Unknown”, and the action adventure mystery “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” both in 2011, and the 2012 crime mystery thriller “The Factory”.
She produced the popular 2014 crime drama “The Judge”, which starred Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr, and was written and directed by David Dobkin. It follows successful attorney Hank Palmer who’s returned to his hometown to defend his father who’s been accused of murder, and the film won three of the 12 awards for which it was nominated, including an Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Robert Duvall).
Susan’s since produced three movies: the 2014 musical “Playing It Forward: Imagine Dragons”, the 2020 adventure family comedy “Dolittle”, and the 2022 biographical documentary film “Sr.”
She’s currently working on the upcoming movies “Sherlock Holmes 3”, “Play Dirty” and “Downey’s Dream Cars”.
Producing TV series
Susan’s produced five TV series. Her debut was five episodes of the documentary “The Age of A. I.”, which aired in 2019 and 2020 and won one of its four award nominations. In 2022, Susan produced four episodes of the documentary “The Bond”, as well as six episodes of the crime podcast “The Sunshine Place”.
Since 2020, she’s produced 10 episodes of the critically acclaimed historical crime drama “Perry Mason”, which stars Matthew Rhys and Juliet Rylance, and was created by Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald; it follows a defense lawyer who’s taken on the biggest case of his career, and the series has won three of its 38 award nominations.
Since 2021, Susan’s produced 15 episodes of the popular action adventure “Sweet Tooth”. She’s currently working on the upcoming series’ “The Sympathizer” and “Lure”.
Susan was a co-president of Dark Castle Entertainment until February 2009, and she also worked at Silver Pictures as executive vice president of production; she and her husband are today running together their production company Team Downey.
Some of Susan’s recent talk-show appearances have been in “Celebrity Page”, “Hollywood Insider” and “Entertainment Tonight”.
Awards and nominations
Susan was nominated for a 2020 Leo Award for Best Documentary Series, for “The Age of A. I.”
Love life and marriage
Susan met Robert Downey Jr. on the set of the 2003 movie “Gothika”; he was still married to his first wife, American singer-songwriter and actress Deborah Falconer at that time, but they had filed for divorce. Robert later stated that the most fun part about making the film was ‘romancing the producer’.
On the other hand, Susan stated on the talk-show “Inside the Actors Studio” that she found Robert ‘weird’, even though she considered him to be a great actor. She initially didn’t want to be with him, believing that their romance would stop as soon as the movie was completed, however, they revealed in October 2003 that they were in a relationship, and Downey asked Susan to marry him on 5 November. They eventually exchanged vows in a Jewish ceremony on 27 August 2005, at which both Billy Joel and Sting performed. At the age of 38 Susan gave birth to their son Exton Elias Downey on 7 February 2012, while their daughter Avri Roel followed on 4 November 2014.
Robert also has a son – Indio Falconer Downey – with his first wife, born in September 1993; Robert’s credited Susan with helping him quit drugs, as he’s been clean since 2003.
Susan’s married to Robert Downey Jr. as of June 2023, and they have two children together.
Interesting facts and hobbies
Robert has a tattoo on his biceps as a tribute to Susan, which reads ‘Suzie Q’.
at her and Robert’s wedding.
Susan’s not that active on Instagram, as she prefers to keep the details of her private life to herself; she’s posted only four pictures and is today followed by more than 1,000 people.
Both she and Robert are philanthropists, and mostly work with charities which aim to help underprivileged children.
The two have vacationed all around the world, while Susan prefers to stay at natural locations over big cities.
One of her favorite actors is Matt Damon, and some of her favorite movies include “The Great Wall”, “We Bought a Zoo” and “Good Will Hunting”.
Height, eyes and wealth
Susan’s age is 49. She has brown hair and eyes, is 5ft 3ins (1.6m) tall and weighs around 110lbs (51kgs).
Susan’s net worth’s been estimated at over $20 million as of June 2023, and her husband Robert’s at over $300 million.