Golden Globe-nominated actor R. Lee Ermey, best known for his role as the brutal Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Full Metal Jacket’ has passed away at 74.
The sad news was announced by his long-time manager on his Twitter.
Statement from R. Lee Ermey's long time manager, Bill Rogin:
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 will be greatly missed by all of us.
Semper Fi, Gunny. Godspeed. pic.twitter.com/vf4O78JKmb
— R. Lee Ermey (@RLeeErmey) April 15, 2018
Ermey wasn’t just an actor playing the role of a drill sergeant. Before the film, he had a long career in the Marines which he joined at the age of 17.
He rose to the rank of staff sergeant before being discharged due to multiple injuries he suffered during service.
After the military, he found his niche in a series of acting roles that began in ‘Apocalypse Now.’
Initially hired as a technical advisor for director Francis Ford Coppola, he also played a role as a chopper pilot.
That kicked off his career in military-based roles.
Beyond playing a drill sergeant multiple times, he was also in two Texas Chainsaw Massacre films, Kim Possible, all three Toy Story movies, and Invader Zim. He also had an impressive career in video game voice overs. R. Lee Ermey has over 60 acting credits.