Actor R. Lee Ermey of 'Full Metal Jacket' dies at 74
Actor R. Lee Ermey of 'Full Metal Jacket' dies at 74
A Kansas native Ermey enlisted in the Marine Corps and age 17 and spent 14 months in Vietnam before he was discharged in 1972
16 April, 2018, 15:30
R. Lee Ermey, a native of Emporia, Kan., remembered by many for his performance as a hard-charging and relentless gunnery sergeant in the movie Full Metal Jacket, has died, according to his longtime manager. "He will be greatly missed by all of us", he wrote. He recounted how he had a "little juvenile problem with the law" and enlisted at 17 with his mother's signature.
In a second tweet, he thanked the marines for helping the actor become "the outstanding person he was".
Kubrick had initially hired Ermey as a technical advisor but he was so impressed that he offered him the role. He was a U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant and an honorary gunnery sergeant.
But his most memorable interpretation and one that made him world famous is that of grumpy and brutal Sergeant Hartman in metallic jacket, shot by Stanley Kubrick in 1987, in which he tries to convert inexperienced recruits in Marines prepared for combat.
He also later landed the similar vocal role of "Sarge" in Toy Story - yet another stony disciplinarian, albeit slightly less scary than his Full Metal Jacket original.
Ermey's most recognisable on-screen performance also reflected his reality, having previously served as a drill sergeant during the Vietnam War - which allowed him to ad-lib huge portions of dialogue during filming.
He said he went to the military after appearing in court for the second time, where the judge gave him a choice between prison or joining the armed forces. He was stationed in San Diego and Okinawa during his military career, which included 14 months in country during the Vietnam War. "He has also contributed many iconic and indelible characters on film that will live on forever."Please support your men and women in uniform". The real R. Lee Ermey was a family man, and a kind and gentle soul. It's actually the Riflemen's Creed. He starred in a series of other movies over the years, including Mississippi Burning, Prefontaine, Fletch Lives, and a remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That's what he wanted most of all. Jordan says the History Center will develop a special exhibit honoring Ermey.
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