Lee Ermey, 'Full Metal Jacket' actor, dies at 74

Clarksville Now

Before being an actor, Ermey was a United States Marine Corps staff sergeant and honorary gunnery sergeant, a position which would help him in a future movie role in perhaps his most memorable performance in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket in 1987.

Full Metal star R. Lee Ermy has died aged 74 from complications of pneumonia.

Actor, television personality and former U.S. Marine Corps gunnery sergeant R. Lee Ermey attends the 2016 National Shooting Sports Foundation's Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show to promote his Outdoor Channel show "Gunnytime with R. Lee Ermey" at the Sands Expo and Convention Center on January 19, 2016, in Las Vegas. He spent a year and two months in Vietnam from 1968 and was released from active military duty due to medical reasons in 1972.

His first film role occurred when he was studying in the Philippines, and he played a First Air Cavalry chopper pilot in "Apocalypse Now", also serving as a technical adviser to Francis Ford Coppola. 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. "He has meant so much to so many people", Rogin told Task & Purpose in a statement. It's a total bummer knowing that there won't be any more Ermey roles to look forward to. Gunnery Sergeant Hartman of Full Metal Jacket fame was a hard and principled man. There are many Gunny's, but this one was ours. Please support your men and women in uniform.

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"Kubrick ate it up", Ermey said.

Kubrick' Full Metal Jacket production hired Ermey as a technical advisor but the legendary director ultimately hired him for the role after watching an instructional tape that showed the war veteran berating some of the film's extras. "And I love sunshine, I don't know about you". He also lent his voice for the Toy Story films and SpongeBob SquarePants. 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 US military now and in the past.

In recent years, Ermey, an NRA board member, claimed he had been blackballed by Hollywood for his disapproval of President Obama.

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