R. Lee Ermey, Star of Full Metal Jacket, Dies at 74

Clarksville Now

Clarksville Now

Ermey was a U.S. Marine Corps sergeant in real life and then rose to his greatest acting fame portraying Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in the Stanley Kubrick film.

Ermey carved his place into cinema history with his memorable portrayal of foul-mouthed Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Kubrick's 1987 Vietnam War drama, and he would go on to play tough-as-nails authority figures from coaches to colonels to sheriffs and generals over a almost four-decade career in film and television.

The role, for which Ermey earned a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor, launched a career that included nearly 60 movies, flicks like "Mississippi Burning", "Se7en", "Leaving Las Vegas", "Man of the House" and the remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre".

Ermey's management confirmed the new on the actor's official Twitter page late Sunday. Kubrick was usually not very keen on actors improvising in his films, but he was so taken with Ermey that he allowed him to improv and write much of his own dialogue for the part. He had a number of small roles before landing the role in 1987's "Full Metal Jacket". He was generous to everyone around him.

However Ermey did not get his large break till eight years later, in Kubrick's personal tackle Vietnam.

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In a post on Facebook - since made inaccessible - his manager Bill Rogin said: "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". It's actually the Riflemen's Creed. "I had one thing unsavory to say concerning the president's administration, and although I did vote for him the primary time round, I used to be blackballed". Please support your men and women in uniform. "My demeanor happens to be a bit more authoritative and film directors, producers want to capitalize on that".

Columnist Glen Macnow said: "RIP R. Lee Ermey, who was terrific in Se7en, Mississippi Burning, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Simpsons and - especially - Full Metal Jacket".

"But Ermey's legacy extends far beyond his iconic roles". "I've accomplished over 70 characteristic movies", he stated.

R. Lee Ermey was born in Emporia, Kansas, on March 24th, 1944 and grew up with five older brothers on a farm outside of Kansas City, Kansas.

R. Lee is survived by his wife Nila, and his four children and nine grandchildren. Ermey, or Gunny as friends and family called him, reportedly passed away earlier this morning due to complications with pneumonia.

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