R. Lee Ermey, the real life U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant who made a significant impression on movie audiences for his portrayal of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's dark Vietnam War picture, Full Metal Jacket, died Sunday morning (April 15) from complications of pneumonia at 74. His longtime manager, Bill Rogin, announced Ermey's death on the actor's Facebook page and said that Ermey was a "family man, a kind and gentle soul". Semper Fi, Gunny. Good luck, "Rogin has written in reference to slogan of Marine Corps, in which Ermelo served 1961 to 1971, when he was discharged for health reasons". He retired from the service after 11 years.
"Ermey took some acting classes and was cast in one of his first roles, playing a helicopter pilot in 1979's Apocalypse Now, and also serving as a technical adviser to director Francis Ford Coppola on the film".
He played several minor roles for nearly a decade before Kubrick asked him to work as a technical advisor on Full Metal Jacket (1987). If you thought he was motivating in Full Metal Jacket you should have seen him on the firing line when points mattered. He also spent time as a Marines drill instructor. Some of his other films include Se7en, Dead Man Walking, Mississippi Burning, On Deadly Ground and the remakes of Willard and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Originally Ermey, who died from complications of pneumonia on Saturday, was hired as a technical advisor on 1987's Full Metal Jacket.
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According to Kubrick, Ermey also had a bad vehicle accident one night in the middle of production and was out for four and half months with broken ribs. "In the course of hiring the marine recruits, we interviewed hundreds of guys", he said. "He will be greatly missed by all of us", the tweet says.
After the success of Full Metal Jacket, Ermey went on to star in a string of well-known films including the Toy Story trilogy - where he provided the voice of green toy soldier Sarge. "He has also contributed many iconic and indelible characters on film that will live on forever."Please support your men and women in uniform".
Most recently, Ermey hosted Outdoor Channel's "GunnyTime with R. Lee Ermey".