Actor R. Lee Ermey, famous for his role in ‘Full Metal Jacket’, passes away from pneumonia at 74

by Myra E.

Actor R. Lee Ermey, famous for his role in Full Metal Jacket, passed away on the morning of April 15, at the age of 74. Ermey’s death was announced on Twitter by his longtime manager.

R. Lee Ermey

Ermey’s death was announced on Twitter along with this photo of the beloved actor. (Image source: Twitter)

R. Lee Ermey

(Image source: Twitter)

R. Lee Ermey

Ermey at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA. (Image source: Albert L. Ortega/WireImage)

R. Lee Ermey

Ermey during Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation “A Time For Heroes” Celebrity Carnival in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Image source: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)

The actor, nicknamed “The Gunny”, passed away from complications of pneumonia. Ermey was best known for his role as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in the 1987 action film, Full Metal Jacket. He even received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his aforementioned role.

R. Lee Ermey

Full Metal Jacket star, Gunnery sergeant, during 2005/2006 A&E Television Networks UpFront at Sea Grill, Rockefeller Center in New York City. (Image source: Stephen Lovekin/WireImage for History Channel)

R. Lee Ermey

Ermey, honorary starter, stands in the starter box prior to the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Dodge Dealers 400 in Dover, Delaware. (Image source: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

R. Lee Ermey

Full Metal Jacket star, Sgt. Ermey during National Cable & Telecommunications Association Press Tour in Pasadena, California. (Image source: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

Ermey joined the United States Marine Corps at the age of 17, where he served as a staff sergeant, an honorary gun sergeant, and a drill instructor. Due to his real life association with the military, he was often typecast in such roles on the big screen.

Gunnery sergeant’s first film was Apocalypse Now, in which he played a First Air Cavalry chopper pilot. He was also a technical advisor to director Francis Ford Coppola in that particular movie.

R. Lee Ermey

Gunnery sergeant, Ermey, attends the 2016 National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Show to promote his Outdoor Channel show “Gunnytime with R. Lee Ermey.” (Image source: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

R. Lee Ermey

His death was caused by complications due to pneumonia. (Image source: L. Busacca/WireImage for History Channel)

R. Lee Ermey

Josh Binswanger and Ermey during A & E Television Network Celebrates 20th Anniversary in New York City. (Image source: L. Busacca/WireImage)

Stanley Kubrick, director and producer of Full Metal Jacket, spoke highly of Ermey; he indicated that he needed less than a handful of takes per scene. After his 1987 role in Kubrick’s film, Ermey went on to add 60 more film credits to his name. He even appeared in two Texas Chainsaw Massacre films.

Moreover, he lent his voice to multiple animated films such as the Toy Story trilogy, Kim Possible and SpongeBob SquarePants. He also hosted a few documentaries, including one for History Channel about weapons used in the military, titled “Lock N’ Load with R. Lee Ermey“.

R. Lee Ermey

Ermey during Los Angeles Premiere of New Line Cinema’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning” in Hollywood. (Image source: E. Charbonneau/WireImage for New Line Cinema)

R. Lee Ermey

Joe Zorola of Florida poses for a photo with Ermey at the Glock booth at the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s 34th annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show. (Image source: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

R. Lee Ermey

Actor Ronald Lee Ermey attends the NRA 2015 Annual Meeting on April 10, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Image source: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

Ermey had also expanded his career to the world of video games, by lending his voice to several military games including Call of Duty: Ghosts. He also appeared in several commercials for products like knives, apparel and sporting goods.

R. Lee Ermey

Ermey has also played the roles of authority figures, such as Gunnery Sergeant in Full Metal Jacket, Mayor Tilman in the Alan Parker film Mississippi Burning as well as plastic army men leader Sarge in the Toy Story films. (Image source: David S. Holloway/Reportage by Getty Images)

R. Lee Ermey

R. Lee Ermey during “Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures” Screening at Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. (Image source: J. P. Aussenard/WireImage)

Ermey was also the co-founder of the Bravery Brewery in Lancaster, California. He married his wife, Nila Ermey in 1975 and had four children with her.

Rest in peace.



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