"Full Metal Jacket" actor R. Lee Ermey has died

"Full Metal Jacket" actor R. Lee Ermey has died

Since the statement was issued, tributes have been flooding in for the late actor, including from former co-stars Matthew Modine and Vincent D'Onofrio. It's said that Ermey wrote much of his characters extensive speeches, in which he goaded the troops-in particular Vincent D'Onofrio's dimwitted Private "Gomer Pyle" Lawrence.

Ronald Lee Ermey joined the United States Marine Corps at 17 and served in aviation support before becoming a drill instructor.

After taking some acting classes, one of Ermey's first roles was playing a helicopter pilot in the 1979 classic Apocalypse Now.

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.

Originally Ermey, who died from complications of pneumonia on Saturday, was hired as a technical advisor on 1987's Full Metal Jacket. An impressed Kubrick gave him the role.

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The combination of Ermey's local ties, military career and film work led organizers of Emporia's All Veterans Tribute to bring Ermey in to help celebrate the city's 50th anniversary of Veterans Day in 2003.

'In the course of hiring the marine recruits, we interviewed hundreds of guys. He was also a drill instructor for the Marines. "He will be greatly missed by all of us", the tweet says. Lee came up with, I don't know, 150 pages of insults'.

The performance turned Ermey into a surprising star and he wound up appearing in more than 60 movies.

Ermey also voiced the little green army man Sarge in the Toy Story films and hosted several weapons-related TV shows including the History Channel's Lock n' Load With R Lee Ermey. He also played track and field coach and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman in "Prefontaine", General Kramer in "Toy Soldiers" and Mayor Tilman in "Mississippi Burning". 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. It is a bad loss that nobody was prepared for.

Following Full Metal Jacket's success Ermey earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

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