Robert Downey Junior pays tribute after the death of long-term assistant Jimmy Rich

Messages of support from fellow celebrities have poured in for actor Robert Downey Jr, who is mourning the death of his assistant and close personal friend Jimmy Rich.

Rich, whom Downey described as like a “brother” to him, was killed in a car accident on Wednesday night, the Iron Man actor announced on social media.

“This is not news. This is a terrible and shocking tragedy,” he wrote on Instagram Thursday, sharing a picture of Rich.

“Jimmy Rich was in a fatal car accident at approx. 8pm yesterday.

“He was a brother, my right-hand man, an uncle to our kids and beloved by all who experienced his singular character and wit.

“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.

“Again, my condolences to his beautiful family, and the legacy of hope and redemption his life will continue to represent.

“Peace Be Unto You.”

Fellow actors from the Marvel family, including Avengers actors Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo, posted messages of condolence.

Others to express their sympathies included Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt and Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth.

“So sorry mate. Absolutely heartbreaking. Such a wonderful human. He’ll be missed,” Hemsworth wrote.

“So sorry man. I’m praying for his family, you and yours,” Chris Pratt wrote.

“That sucks so bad. I’m so sorry to hear that. He was awesome. Such a tragedy.”

Jeremy Renner said Rich’s death was a “devastating loss.”

“Such a tragedy. Such a good man,” Mark Ruffalo wrote.

“I have known him almost as long as I have known you, Robert.

“Breaks my heart to have Jimmy go over to the other world. You will be missed Jimmy.

“Thanks for always being real, always being there to lend a hand and showing the way of light forward to so many people.

“Another sad day.”

Downey’s Tropic Thunder co-star Jack Black wrote, “Heartbroken. Such a good man.”

Marvel Studios posted a picture of Downey and Rich together on the Avengers set.

“Rest In Peace, Jimmy,” the studio wrote.

“You have been such a great friend to all of us at Marvel Studios for so many years.

“Your love and light were an inspiration to everyone that knew you. We will miss you.”

‘Don’t have words’
Captain America star Chris Evans also paid tribute on his own Instagram account, sharing a picture of himself with Rich on the set of one of the Marvel films.

“I don’t have the words,” he wrote.

“Jimmy Rich was unlike anyone else.

“He left an indelible impression on everyone he met.

“No one more so than my brother @robertdowneyjr. They were inseparable.

“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.”

According to, Rich began working as Downey’s assistant in 2003 and worked with him across 22 films, including all of the Marvel films Downey starred in.

He regularly posted pictures from the set of Downey’s films, including Sherlock Holmes, Doolittle and Iron Man.

Rich was 52 years old.