R. Lee Ermey, who played sadistic Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket, dies at 74
R Lee Ermey, who was nicknamed the Gunny, earned a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor with his performance as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in 'Full Metal Jacket'
R. Lee Ermey, a former Marine Corps drill instructor who is best known as the sadistic Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket," died Sunday morning, according to his longtime manager. He was 74 years old.
In a statement posted on social media site Twitter, his manager Bill Rogin said Ermey had died due to complications from pneumonia.
Ermey, who was nicknamed the Gunny, had earned himself a Golden Globe nomination for best-supporting actor for his performance as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in 'Full Metal Jacket,' the 1987 Stanley Kubrick film.
The actor, whose acting credits included a lot of film and television roles, was also famous for playing Sheriff Hoyt in the 2003 horror film 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.' He is also known for his portrayal of a police captain in the 1995 crime drama 'Se7en' and was the voice of a green plastic solder named Sarge in the “Toy Story” franchise.
Ronald Lee Ermey was born on March 24, 1944, in Emporia, Kansas, before he moved to Washington State at the age of 11. He enlisted in the Marines immediately after graduating high school and had plans to spend decades in the military.
In an interview with the New York Times in 1987, the actor spoke about the torrent of vicious language he used in 'Full Metal Jacket', and that it was recalled from his days in boot camp and his time as a Marine Corps drill instructor during the Vietnam War.
“It was terrifying to those actors,” he said of the invective he spewed. “My objective was intimidation.”
He also told the publication how he had given up “a good job and more money” for the part in 'Full Metal Jacket' in another interview a few years later. “I love being in front of the camera,” he said. “I get to play cowboy.”
The late veteran is survived by his wife, Marianila Ermey, his brothers Jack Ermey and Terry Ermey, his children Kim Bolt, Rhonda Chilton, Anna Liza Cruz, Betty Ermey, Evonne Ermey and Clinton Ermey, along with grandchildren and great-grandchildren.