R. Lee Ermey's manager Bill Rogin confirmed that the Golden Globe nominee died from complications of pneumonia Photo: AFP/File
entertainment

'Full Metal Jacket' star R Lee Ermey dead at 74

12 Comments

U.S. actor and retired Marine R Lee Ermey, best known for his role as foul-mouthed Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket," has died, his manager said Sunday. He was 74.

Manager Bill Rogin said the Golden Globe nominee Ermey died from complications of pneumonia.

"It is with deep sadness that I regret to inform you all that R Lee Ermey ("The Gunny") passed away this morning from complications of pneumonia," he said in a statement on Twitter.

"He will be greatly missed by all of us. Semper Fi, Gunny. Godspeed," he wrote, referencing the motto of the United States Marines Corps, in which Ermey served from 1961 to 1971 when he was medically discharged.

Born in Emporia, Kansas in 1944, Ermey bagged his first acting role while studying drama at the University of Manila in the Philippines, landing a part as a helicopter in "Apocalypse Now" (1979). He went on to appear in some 60 films, often in military-related roles.

Ermey also lent his voice to the likes of the "Toy Story" films as the gung ho plastic soldier Sarge, and "The Simpsons."

A board member of the powerful National Rifle Association, Ermey also hosted weapons-related TV shows such as the History Channel's "Lock n' Load with R. Lee Ermey" and "GunnyTime with R. Lee Ermey" on the Outdoor Channel.

© 2018 AFP

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

12 Comments
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RIP Sarge. Will have to fire up FMJ again.

Didn't know he actually served btw. Interesting trivia, most of his scenes in Full Metal Jacket are ad-libbed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sad news. Hired originally as a consultant on the film, Emery eventually replaced the actor he was hired to tutor. He turned that into a solid career as a character actor, but will always be remembered for FMJ.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We'll see you on the other side of Heartbreak Ridge Gunny.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sad. His sergeant Hartman was unforgettable, and I enjoyed "Lock n' Load with R. Lee Ermey" very mich. RIP.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

IIRC, the original actor who was to be "Gunny" in Full Metal Jacket still got a role in the movie. In the scene where Cowboy was riding a helicopter and talking to a door gunner, the door gunner was that actor. He's the one who, when asked, "how do you shoot women and children?", replied, "easy, you just don't lead them as much!", causing Cowboy some distress.

Should have won an Oscar for that performance...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I used to love Mail Call. His performance in FMJ was one of the most memorable in Hollywood history.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"landing a part as a helicopter in "Apocalypse Now" (1979)."

He played a helicopter??

Seriously, though, while he may have been best known for his role in FMJ, I remember seeing him here and there in other roles, some not too flattering. I was actually just thinking about him a couple of days ago and wondering if he had been in anything recent (besides the flick with Jack Black a year or two ago).

I, too, was impressed to learn he actually did serve as well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not too many celebrity deaths get to me, but this is one of them. He was a great actor and an all-around nice guy. I know many people who actually have met him and all of them have nothing but good things to say. He will be missed.

I am honestly surprised when people say they didn't know he served, as it was always very well known as well as where his nickname 'Gunny' comes from. He would have drawn a lot of anger from the military crowd if he hadn't earned that nickname, especially Marines. He did do the funniest Geico commercial they have ever put out.

besides the flick with Jack Black a year or two ago

You mean Saving Silverman from... 2001? ;-) He had been steadily working but mostly small parts and voice acting. He always made tons of public appearances as well.

We'll see you on the other side of Heartbreak Ridge Gunny.

Um... that was Clint Eastwood...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Um....that was Eastwood

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"That was Clint Eastwood"

OBVIOUSLY; you weren't a Marine.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

OBVIOUSLY; you weren't a Marine.

Haha, OBVIOUSLY. I was Army in the '90s. Thank you for getting me to brush up on my history. As we were talking about an actor, my mind went straight to the movie, forgetting there was history behind the name. My bad!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One of the best scenes in cinema: https://youtu.be/3j3_iPskjxk

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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