Golden Globe-nominated American actor R. Lee Ermey – best known for his role as the no-nonsense Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 war movie Full Metal Jacket – has passed away aged 74. The actor’s manager Bill Rogen shared the sad news on Twitter.
Statement from R. Lee Ermey's long time manager, Bill Rogin:
It is with deep sadness that I regret to inform you all that R. Lee Ermey ("The Gunny") passed away this morning from complications of pneumonia. He will be greatly missed by all of us.
Semper Fi, Gunny. Godspeed. pic.twitter.com/vf4O78JKmb
— R. Lee Ermey (@RLeeErmey) April 15, 2018
After a career in the United States Marine Corps, Ermey made his feature film debut with a brief role in Apocalypse Now, and also served as a technical advisor to director Francis Ford Coppola. He was later hired as a technical advisor to Kubrick on Full Metal Jacket, but found himself cast as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman after impressing the director. Ermey wrote much of his own dialogue, and was allowed to improvise on set – a rarity for a Kubrick movie. He received rave reviews for his work, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.
Following his breakthrough in Full Metal Jacket, Ermey went on to appear in more than fifty movies, as well as a host of guest appearances on TV. His subsequent include the likes of Mississippi Burning, Fletch Lives, Toy Story, The Frighteners, Se7en, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Relive his iconic role as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman here…