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16th Apr 2018

Full Metal Jacket star R. Lee Ermey dies age 74

The actor also voiced Sarge in Toy Story

Kyle Picknell

The legendary actor was responsible for one of the greatest scenes in film history.

Actor R. Lee Ermey has died aged 74 following complications from pneumonia. He passed away early on Sunday morning in Santa Monica, California.

Ermey is most well known for his portrayal of Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The actor was actually a former Marine Corps staff sergeant and drill instructor, bringing an authenticity and intensity to the role from the very first – now utterly iconic – scene.

His performance in the film, which involved him ad-libbing many of his now-famous lines on the spot, led to him being typecast as authoritarian, commanding presence in future roles as he went on to appear as a Police Captain in David Fincher’s Se7en, Mayor Tilman in Mississippi Burning and Sheriff Hoyt in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake.

In addition he has starred in popular TV series such as Scrubs and House as well as lending his considerable voice-acting talents to the first three Toy Story films and guest appearances in The Simpsons, Family Guy and Spongebob Squarepants. 

His longtime manager Bill Rogin released a statement on Sunday which read: “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. It is a terrible loss that nobody was prepared for.

“He has meant so much to so many people and it is extremely difficult to truly quantify all of the great things this man has selflessly done for and on behalf of, our many men and women in uniform.

“He has also contributed many iconic and indelible characters on film that will live on forever.”