Marine, 'Full Metal Jacket,' star R. Lee Ermey Dies at 74

Esequiel Farfan
Abril 16, 2018

Ronald Lee Ermey served as a marine for eleven years.

Ermey's longtime agent, Bill Rogin, announced on Twitter on Sunday evening that the actor has passed due to "complications of pneumonia". "He will be greatly missed by all of us", the statement reads.

My personal favorite role of Ermey's, however, would have to be as Sheriff Hoyt in the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. 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.

"But Ermey's legacy extends far beyond his iconic roles".

One person wrote: "God never takes someone early, they're just needed in heaven for a higher objective, godspeed R. Lee Ermey". 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. His rank at that time was staff sergeant, but years later he was given the honorary rank of gunnery sergeant - the same rank he had in Full Metal Jacket. It's actually the Riflemen's Creed. There are many Gunny's, but this one was OURS. "There are many Gunny's, but this one was OURS", Rogin said.

Ermey studied criminology and drama at the University of Manila after his time in the military, and launched his acting career as a Marine in 1978's The Boys in Company C. Kubrick hired him as a technical adviser before he cast him as the drill instructor.

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He appeared in a host of films, including Leaving Las Vegas, Se7en, Dead Man Walking and Saving Silverman.

"We lined them all up and did an improvisation of the first meeting with the drill instructor".

The 1987 film's Sgt. Hartman's no-nonsense style was so memorable film audiences couldn't believe they were watching a novice actor. He was also a voice actor who contributed to SpongeBob SquarePants, and did the soldier's voice in the Toy Story movies, and in video games and numerous TV commercials.

What do you know R. Lee Ermey from? These include Lock N' Load with R. Lee Ermey, where he talked about the development of the different types of weapons, and the History Channel show Mail Call, in which he provided his knowledge about modern and historic military issues.

Comedian Dan Laporte added: "Saddened to hear of the passing of R. Lee Ermey".

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