'Full Metal Jacket' drill sergeant R. Lee Ermey dead at 74

Actor R. Lee Ermey dies at 74 following pneumonia battle

Actor R. Lee Ermey dies at 74 following pneumonia battle

The role was a ideal fit for Ermey, because he was a Marine drill instructor during the Vietnam War.

Ermey carved his place into cinema history with his memorable portrayal of foul-mouthed Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Kubrick's 1987 Vietnam War drama, and he would go on to play tough-as-nails authority figures from coaches to colonels to sheriffs and generals over a almost four-decade career in film and television.

Mr. Ermey played Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in the 1987 movie "Full Metal Jacket", which earned him the Golden Globe nomination.

"He will be greatly missed by all of us", Rogin wrote on Ermey's official Facebook page. "Semper Fi, Gunny. #RIPGunny", while another fan added: "You know your life sucks when you hear that @RLeeErmey has died and you have no one to share the news with or 'remember when....' with".

Former United States Marine, and veteran actor Ronald Lee Ermey, known professionally as R. Lee Ermey, has passed away at the age of 74. He was generous to everyone around him.

Among his many film roles was Mayor Tilman in Mississippi Burning; Bill Bowerman in Prefontaine; Sheriff Hoyt in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, plastic army leader Sarge in the Toy Story films, and Lt. "Tice" Ryan in Rocket Power. And, we will honor his memory with hope and kindness.

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"Kubrick ate it up", Ermey said. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1961 - 1972 and climbed to the rank of Staff Sergeant. Afterwards, he served at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan before getting shipped off to Vietnam in 1968.

Ermey also appeared as a chopper pilot in "Apocalypse Now" while also working as director Francis Ford Coppola's technical adviser on the set of the 1979 war film.

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. Please support your men and women in uniform.

There are many Gunny's, but this one was OURS.

The part he would become most well-known for, in Full Metal Jacket, wasn't even originally his.

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