"Full Metal Jacket" actor R. Lee Ermey has died

Joann Johnston
April 16, 2018

Ermey joined the Marine Corps. and was stationed in San Diego as a drill instructor.

The 74-year-old died from pneumonia-related problems on Sunday morning, Invoice Rogin mentioned.

You can also read a statement posted to Ermey's Twitter account today by his manager below. "Godspeed", he added, referencing the motto of the US Marines Corps, in which Ermey served from 1961 to 1971 when he was medically discharged.

Ermey was in the military for 11 years as a staff sergeant and honorary gunnery sergeant and served as a drill instructor in the Marine Corps. "Apocalypse Now" was being filmed in the area and that's where Ermey had his first featured role in an acting career that spanned both film and television, according to his website. Although he is probably best known for his role as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Full Metal Jacket, Ermey made a career of bringing no-nonsense military personnel to life on the big screen. Ermey appeared in over 60 films in his lifetime. It's said that Ermey wrote much of his characters extensive speeches, in which he goaded the troops-in particular Vincent D'Onofrio's dimwitted Private "Gomer Pyle" Lawrence. "He loved it. He just let me go insane". "But every time I asked Stanley about it, he politely smiled and said, 'No. That's all I cared about too, was getting it right".

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Ermey explained that he was doing some "black marketing" and attracted the attention of local authorities, so he escaped the heat and high-tailed it to the Philippines. "I generally do play authoritative roles", Ermey said in 2007. That's what he wanted most of all.

Ermey would also go on to voice the little green army man Sarge in the Toy Story films. These include Lock N' Load with R. Lee Ermey, where he talked about the development of the different types of weapons, and the History Channel show Mail Call, in which he provided his knowledge about modern and historic military issues. It is a awful loss that nobody was prepared for.

"It is extremely hard to truly quantify all of the great things this man has selflessly done for, and on behalf of, our many men and women in uniform".

"If you thought he was motivating in Full Metal Jacket you should have seen him on the firing line when points mattered".

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