Santa Monica, CA: United States Marine Corps veteran and ‘Full Metal Jacket’ actor R. Lee Ermey has died.
R. Lee Ermey, United States Marine Corps veteran and ‘Full Metal Jacket’ actor, has died on Sunday, April 15th, 2018.
According to manager Bill Rogin, R. Lee Ermey died at the age of 74 years old from complications of pneumonia reportedly at a hospital in Santa Monica, California.
“He will be greatly missed by all of us. Semper Fi, Gunny. Godspeed,” manager Bill Rogin tweeted on Twitter.
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R. Lee Ermey was born in Emporia, Kansas, on Friday, March 24th, 1944 and grew up with 5 brothers on a farm outside of Kansas City, Kansas.
In 1958, R. Lee Ermey and his family left Kansas and moved to Zillah, Washington.
In 1961, R. Lee Ermey enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and went through recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in San Diego, California.
R. Lee Ermey served as in the United States Marine Corps from 1961-1972, left the Marine Corps as a staff sergeant and later received an honorary promotion to gunnery sergeant from then-Commandant Gen. James Jones in 2002.
R. Lee Ermey served 14 months in Vietnam and completed 2 tours in Okinawa, Japan.
The Hollywood Reporter reports R. Lee Ermey took up acting after retiring from the military with 11 years of service under his belt.
After taking some acting classes, R. Lee Ermey’s first film credit was as a helicopter pilot in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now,” which was quickly followed by a part in “The Boys in Company C” as a drill instructor.
R. Lee Ermey raked in more than 60 credits in film and television across his long career in the industry, often playing authority figures in everything from “Se7en” to “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remake.
The part R. Lee Ermey would become most well-known for, in “Full Metal Jacket,” wasn’t even originally his.
Ermey would also go on to voice the little green army man Sarge in the “Toy Story” films, and played track and field coach and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman in “Prefontaine,” General Kramer in “Toy Soldiers” and Mayor Tilman in “Mississippi Burning.”
R. Lee Ermey also hosted documentary shows on the military including “Lock N’ Load with R. Lee Ermey” on the History Channel and “GunnyTime” on the Outdoor Channel.
According to manager Bill Rogin, while his characters were often hard and principled, the real R. Lee Ermey was a family man and was a kind and gentle soul who supported the men and women who serve.
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