Best known for his role as the hard and sadistic Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrik’s 1987 masterpiece, Full Metal Jacket, R. Lee Ermey has passed away from complications from pneumonia.
Full Metal Jacket has enjoyed a cult following and is considered one of the greatest war films of all time. Full Metal Jacket was nominated for eleven awards worldwide between 1987 and 1989 including an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, two BAFTA Awards for Best Sound and Best Special Effects, and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for Ermey. Ultimately, it won five awards.
Perhaps Ermey’s incredible and time tested interpretation of the Gunnery Sargent in the cult film was inspired by the actors own experience as a solder during the Vietnam war. Ermey enlisted as a 17 year old and spent 14 months fighting in Vietnam. He served in the aviation support field before becoming a drill instructor in India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, where he was assigned from 1965 to 1967.
Ermey appeared in more than 70 films over his career – as well as television, video games and commercials.