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‘It Was Simply the Kindest Act I’ve Ever Witnessed’

Happy 57th Birthday, Robert Downey Jr.! The actor has played a superhero onscreen for over a decade, and for his birthday, here is a story about how he is a real-life superhero too. In honor of the actor’s birthday, The Indian Express shared a report from a 2020 Reader’s Digest article about Dana Reinhardt, who recalled a story about how the actor helped her and her grandmother when he saw that her grandmother had injured herself gravely. Here’s how RDJ is a superhero in real life!

The incident happened in the early 90s before Downey’s much-publicized brushes with the law, according to Reinhardt (he famously overcame his addiction and was hired to play Tony Starkaka Iron Man, in 2008’s Iron Man, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, making him one of the biggest superhero names of all time). But even in the 90s, RDJ was a superhero off-screen; the good deed happened when the article’s author was attending a garden party for the ACLU of Southern California with her 80-year-old grandmother, according to The Indian Express’s recounting of the tale.


Reinhardt said that as the ACLU event ended, her grandmother fell and slashed her chin open. “I sat down and put my head between my knees because I thought I was going to faint…” the author said, adding, “Luckily, somebody did take control of the situation. That person was Robert Downey Jr.”

She added, “He grabbed hold of my grandmother’s leg. Then he took the jacket, which I’d assumed he’d taken off only to get it out of the way, and he tied it around her wound. I watched the cream- colored linen turn scarlet with her blood. He told her not to worry and that everything would be all right. ” When the paramedics came, RDJ also walked alongside Reinhardt’s grandmother’s stretcher, “holding her hand and telling her she was breaking his heart by leaving the party so early, just as they were getting to know each other. He waved to her as they closed the doors. ‘Do not forget to call me, Silvia,’ he said. ‘We’ll do lunch.’ “

Dana Reinhardt Thanked RDJ for His Kindness Years Later

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In addition, Reinhardt said she thought about writing to RDJ while he was in jail for drug possession to remind him of the story, but she did not. However, years later, she happened to see him at a restaurant.

“I said, ‘I do not have any idea if you remember this…,’ and I told him the story. He remembered. ‘I just wanted to thank you,’ I said. ‘And I wanted to tell you that it was simply the kindest act I’ve ever witnessed. ‘ He stood up, and he took both of my hands in his, and he looked into my eyes, and he said, ‘You have absolutely no idea how much I needed to hear that today.’ “

Even today, RDJ is still a real-life superhero. Since leaving behind the role of Iron Man, the actor has started the FootPrint Coalition, a coalition of investors, donors, and storytellers committed to scaling technologies to restore our planet.

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