Actor R. Lee Ermey died April 15 from complications with pneumonia. He was 74.
Ermey was a real-life drill instructor and staff sergeant in the Marines, serving tours in Vietnam and Japan before heading to Hollywood. He was known for barking orders as military characters, although he did venture into other genres, and did a lot of fantastic voice-over work.
Ermey was best known for playing Gunnery Sgt. Hartman -- "The Gunny" -- in Stanley Kubrick's 1987 Vietnam War drama "Full Metal Jacket."
— IB ???? (@incarceratedbob) April 15, 2018
Ermey earned a Golden Globe nomination as Gunny, and earned a lifetime of respect (and fear) from viewers.
Ermey's "Full Metal Jacket" co-stars -- including Matthew Modine, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Adam Baldwin -- joined the many fans, critics, and friends who reacted on social media to Ermey's death.
#SemperFidelis Always faithful. Always loyal.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
RIP amigo. ✌????PVT. Joker #FullMetalJacket@RLeeErmey@StanleyKubrick@vincentdonofrio@ViKu1111pic.twitter.com/AYbWQmLxy1
— Matthew Modine (@MatthewModine) April 15, 2018
Thank you for your contribution in helping @RLeeErmey become the outstanding person he was. Hard working. Disciplined. Focused. Never complaining.
There's no doubt his Marine Corp training benefited him with his second career as an actor. #SemperFidelishttps://t.co/NKVBdie4sl
— Matthew Modine (@MatthewModine) April 16, 2018
— Vincent D'Onofrio (@vincentdonofrio) April 16, 2018
R. Lee Ermey, 'The Gunny' https://t.co/tOQjLHqN1R
— Adam Baldwin (@AdamBaldwin) April 15, 2018
I read once that the only 2 actors Stanley Kubrick ever allowed to improvise dialogue were Peter Sellers & R. Lee Ermey and we are all the better for it. Thank you Gunny.
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) April 15, 2018
Ermey also voiced Sarge in the "Toy Story" movies, and he'll be remembered and missed for that as well:
This is just so terribly sad. I was lucky to work with Lee in his role as Sarge in the Toy Story movies. His role in Full Metal Jacket is one for the ages, and I peppered him with questions about it every time I worked with him. Semper Fi. ???? https://t.co/NClOyYPA16
— Lee Unkrich (@leeunkrich) April 16, 2018
Sad to hear about the passing of R. Lee Ermey. He was known as the "Sargent guy" and also had a real talent for voiceover. The Sarge in the Toy Story movies and Colonel Leslie "Hap" Hapablap from The Simpsons. pic.twitter.com/ez5R4Dl3UA
— Sheila M. Lin (@SMLinVA) April 16, 2018
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Stanley Kubrick's take on the Vietnam War follows smart-aleck Private Davis (Matthew Modine), quickly christened "Joker" by his foul-mouthed drill sergeant (R. Lee Ermey), and pudgy Private Lawrence (Vincent D'Onofrio), nicknamed "Gomer Pyle," as they endure the rigors of basic training. Though Pyle takes a frightening detour, Joker graduates to the Marine Corps and is sent to Vietnam as a journalist, covering -- and eventually participating in -- the bloody Battle of Hué. Read More