Who was Robert Downey Jr.'s assistant Jimmy Rich and how did he die?

ACTOR Robert Downey Jr. has paid tribute to his longtime friend and assistant of 17 years after he died in a fatal car accident on May 5.

But who was Jimmy Rich and what did the Marvel actor say about his friend's tragic death? Here is everything you'll need to know…

Who was Robert Downey Jr.'s assistant Jimmy Rich?

Jimmy Rich, 52, was Downey Jr's assistant since 2003.

Rich was one of the few assistants that Downey Jr. had and according to Vanity Fair, he had "Iron Man" tattooed on his calf.

On Rich's IMDB page, he was credited for every single Marvel movie that Downey Jr. starred in and he even cameoed in Iron Man 3.

How did Jimmy Rich die?

Downey Jr. told his Instagram followers that Rich was in a fatal accident on Wednesday at around 8pm.

However the details of what happened are unclear.

What has Robert Downey Jr said?

Posting to his Instagram on Thursday, Downey Jr. said: "This is not news. This is a terrible and shocking tragedy."

The actor went on to say that Rich had been responsible for keeping him drug free since he became his assistant in 2003.

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

"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."

He concluded the emotional post with: "Again, my condolences to his beautiful family, and the legacy of hope and redemption his life will continue to represent. Peace Be Unto You."

A host of other A-listers joined Downey Jr. to pay tribute to the 52-year-old.

"Heartbroken. Such a good man," Jack Black posted.

Writing on Instagram, Jurassic World star Chris Pratt shared: "I don't have the words. 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. 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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