R. Lee Ermey, Golden Globe Nominated Actor for ‘Full Metal Jacket,’ Dies at 74


R. Lee Ermey, a Golden Globe-nominated actor best known for his role as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, has died.  Ermey, whose nickname was “The Gunny,” died Sunday morning from complications of pneumonia. He was 74.


The news was announced via his official twitter account by his longtime manager, Bill Rogin, who wrote: “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.”

Ermey not only played a member of the military in the movies, but he also was one in real life, having been a U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant and an honorary gunnery sergeant. He also served as a drill instructor for the Marines. Ermey also served 14 months in Vietnam and completed two tours in Okinawa, Japan.


Both March 24, 1944, in Emporia, Kan., Ermey’s family moved to Toppenish, Wash., when he was 14. There, he became  a “troublemaker and a bit of a hell-raiser,” he told the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s online magazine in September 2010, and he found himself in court multiple times.



Ermy got a chance to showcase his comedy chops in 2001’s Saving Silverman, which he starred in alongside Jason Biggs, Steve Zahn, Jack Black and Amanda Peet.


Ermey also was one of the rare conservatives in more liberal Hollywood. In 2010, he did a commercial for Geico but later said he was fired from that gig after bashing then-President Obama at a Toys 4 Tots benefit.


As he told the Spokesman Review in his 2010 interview: “I don’t have anything in common with Hollyweird.”


More recently, Ermey hosted Outdoor Channel’s GunnyTime With R. Lee Ermey.


Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  AP
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