Full Metal Jacket's R. Lee Ermey Dies at 74

R. Lee Ermey, 'Full Metal Jacket' star, dead at 74

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Although he is probably best known for his role as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Full Metal Jacket, Ermey made a career of bringing no-nonsense military personnel to life on the big screen.

Ermey's longtime manager Bill Rogin says he died Sunday morning from pneumonia-related complications.

Ermey served in the Marines, where he was "a staff sergeant who served in Vietnam and Okinawa, Japan, and was later awarded the honorary rank of gunnery sergeant", USA Today reported. He spent a year and two months in Vietnam from 1968 and was released from active military duty due to medical reasons in 1972.

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Mr. Ermey's 11-year career as a Marine was ended "by a rocket" in 1969, but he would not talk about the war for the Times article, saying: "If a person's wife and children were killed in a bad automobile accident, 20 years later it will bother him to talk about it".

By the late 1970s, Mr. Ermey landed one of his first movie roles, as a helicopter pilot in Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now". The part of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman would secure him a Golden Globe nomnation, and then lead to key roles as Sheriff Hoyt in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake in 2003, a police captain in Se7en, and as the voice of Sarge in Toy Story.

Rogin quoted one of the famous lines from "Full Metal Jacket": "This is my rifle". He has meant so much to so many people.

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In a post on Facebook - since made inaccessible - his manager Bill Rogin said: "It is extremely hard 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".

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. Kubrick said at the time that 50 percent of the insulting dialogues were all Ermey's improvisation. Please support your men and women in uniform. "You see, in the course of hiring the marine recruits, we interviewed hundreds of guys", Kubrick told Rolling Stone in 1987. "Lee came up with, I don't know, 150 pages of insults", Kubrick said.

According to Fox News Ermey's conservative views led to him being "blackballed" in Hollywood.

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