Beloved actor and television star R. Lee Ermey, who portrayed the tough-as-nails "Gunnery Sergeant Hartman" in the movie "Full Metal Jacket", has died at 74. According to a statement that his manager posted on Facebook, Ermey died from complications from pneumonia.
Ermey served in the Marines, where he was "a staff sergeant who served in Vietnam and Okinawa, Japan, and was later awarded the honorary rank of gunnery sergeant", USA Today reported.
After being medically discharged as an E-6 after in 1972 after a tour in Vietnam, Ermey reportedly struggled with his transition to civilian life. In total, he was in the military for 11 years.
Ermey also starred as Sergeant Hoigt in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot and the plastic army men leader in Toy Story. Like with many people, he first caught my attention as the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket - I'd be quoting lines of his for many, many years.
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"I'd say fifty percent of Lee's dialogue, specifically the insult stuff, came from Lee". And, 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. After some minor film parts, the actor was meant to advise on another movie as well: Full Metal Jacket. Please support your men and women in uniform. After being hired as a technical advisor for "Full Metal Jacket", Ermey was instead moved to a speaking role after proving just how well he could yell at subordinates. "He will be greatly missed by all of us", the tweet says.
Ermey also hosted the History Channel series "Mail Call" and "Lock N' Load with R. Lee Ermey" and was a board member for the National Rifle Association, as well as a spokesman for Glock.
An outspoken conservative, Ermey spoke to Fox Information in 2016 about being "blackballed" from Hollywood over his political opinions.