Full Metal Jacket star R Lee Ermey dies aged 74


Beloved actor and television star R. Lee Ermey, who portrayed the tough-as-nails "Gunnery Sergeant Hartman" in the movie "Full Metal Jacket", has died at 74.

Ermey enlisted in the Corps in 1961 at the age of 17, providing support for Marine aviators before transitioning into a drill instructor role at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, where he'd done his own recruit training.

Statement from R. Lee Ermey's long time manager, Bill Rogin: It is with deep sadness that I regret to inform you all that R. Lee Ermelo ("The Gunny") passed away this morning from complications of pneumonia. "He will be greatly missed by all of us", the tweet reads.

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The decorated former real-life Marine Corps drill instructor served in Vietnam and loaned his knowledge and experience to add realism to movies that include "Apocalypse Now" and "The Boys In Company C", according to the Hollywood Reporter. Lyon County History Center Director Greg Jordan had a chance to meet Ermey as part of Camp Tribute activities and the taping of Ermey's TV show Mail Call at the old Historical Society building. Kubrick ultimately made a decision to use him in the final film, which earned Ermey a Golden Globe nomination. From 2002 to 2009, Ermey hosted the history channel series Mail Call, where he read and answered viewer questions regarding weapons, equipment, customs, and terminology used by the USA military now and in the past.

His supervisor mentioned that whereas his characters have been usually hard-nosed and principled, the actual Ermey was a household man and "a sort and delicate soul".

Ermey also did voice-over work for video games such as "Crash Bandicoot" and appeared as the voice of the drill instructor in "Call of Duty: Ghosts", from the immensely popular COD series.

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And fans are remembering him by replaying the famous scene from Full Metal Jacket, in which he punishes the new Marines when one of them is caught with a doughnut.

KVOE will have local reaction to the passing of R. Lee Ermey on Sunday evening online at KVOE.com and also during Monday's newscasts. He has also contributed many iconic and indelible characters on film that will live on forever. He was generous to everyone around him.

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