Famous actor, R Lee Ermey, known for his role as foul-mouthed Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Vietnam War film Full Metal Jacket, has died at age 74. The former US Marine Corps soldier turned award-winning actor played a host of military men during his career. Ermey’s manager, posting to the actor’s Twitter account, said he died from “complications of pneumonia”.
“He will be greatly missed by all of us,” the message read. “Semper Fi, Gunny. Godspeed.”
Born in 1944 in Kansas, Ermey was a staff sergeant in the marine corps in the 1960s and early 1970s, serving tours in Japan and Vietnam. He also served as a real-life drill sergeant.
In a 2010 interview with the Civilian Marksmanship Programme magazine, Ermey recalled being a “troublemaker and a bit of a hell-raiser” in his youth – eventually ending up in court.
“Basically a silver-haired judge… gave me a choice. He said I could either go into the military – any branch I wanted to go to – or he was going to send me where the sun never shines,” he told the magazine.