Chris Evans also posted a tribute to Rich, who worked as Downey's personal assistant during the star's Marvel shoots.

By Christian Holub
May 06, 2021 at 03:57 PM EDT
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Tragedy has struck the Marvel Studios family. On Thursday, Robert Downey Jr. shared the news on Instagram that his long-time personal assistant, Jimmy Rich, had died in a car accident. Downey described the event as "a terrible and shocking tragedy."

"He was a brother, my right-hand man, an uncle to our kids, and beloved by all who experienced his singular character and wit," Downey wrote in the post. "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."

Rich was credited as Downey's assistant on all his films dating back to The Singing Detective in 2003. That year marked the beginning of Downey's sobriety after his much-publicized battles with drug and alcohol addiction. In the post, Downey credited Rich as a big supporter of his recovery.

In his own Instagram tribute, Downey's MCU costar Chris Evans also credited Rich as a positive influence in Downey's life, and encouraged fans to send their love to the Iron Man star in the wake of the tragedy.

"I don't have the words. Jimmy Rich was unlike anyone else," Evans wrote. "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."

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