Robert Downey Jr. spotted wearing 'chai' necklace

Robert Downey Jr. has identified himself as a Jewish Buddhist and was raised by a Jewish father.

 Actor Robert Downey Jr. presents their new movie "The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle" in Berlin, Germany January 20, 2020.  (photo credit: REUTERS/MICHELE TANTUSSI)
Actor Robert Downey Jr. presents their new movie "The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle" in Berlin, Germany January 20, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MICHELE TANTUSSI)

Robert Downey Jr. caused many to speculate whether he is Jewish after he posted a photo at a Little League Baseball game in which he was wearing a Hebrew "chai" necklace.

Downey's Jewish family

Downey self-identifies as a "Jubu" or a Jewish Buddhist.

Downey's wife, Susan, is Jewish and the two named their son Avri, which is sometimes used as a nickname for Avraham — a Jewish name.

According to Downey's IMDB page, his father Robert Downey Sr. had Lithuanian Jewish and Hungarian Jewish heritage — meaning that Downey may very well have grown up in a somewhat Jewish environment. His mother was Catholic.

 Cast member Robert Downey Jr. and his wife and producer Susan Downey attend the premiere for the film ''Dolittle'' in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 11, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/MARIO ANZUONI) Cast member Robert Downey Jr. and his wife and producer Susan Downey attend the premiere for the film ''Dolittle'' in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 11, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/MARIO ANZUONI)

Chai means life in Hebrew and has been used as a Jewish cultural symbol since Medieval Spain. It is especially significant to Kabbalah which sees Chai as the emanation of God which is closest to the physical plain.

Robert Downey Jr. is well-known for his role as Tony Stark (Iron Man) across the Marvel Universe movies as well as many other roles.