R. Lee Ermey, Golden Globe Nominee For ‘Full Metal Jacket,’ Dies At 74

R. Lee Ermey, a Golden Globe-nominated actor best known for his role as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket has died.

Ermey, whose nickname was “The Gunny,” died Sunday morning from complications of pneumonia. He was 74.

R. Lee Ermey – Getty Images (The Hollywood Reporter)

The news was announced via his official Twitter account by his longtime manager, Bill Rogin.

“It is with great 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,” the tweet reads.

Ermey not only played a member of the military in the movies, but he also was one in real life, having been a U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant and an honorary gunnery sergeant. He also served as a drill instructor for the Marines. Ermey also served 14 months in Vietnam and completed two tours in Okinawa, Japan.

Both March 24, 1944, in Emporia, Kan., Ermey’s family moved to Toppenish, Wash. when he was 14. There, he became a “troublemaker and a bit of a hell-raiser,” he told the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s online magazine in September 2010, and he found himself in court multiple times.

“Basically, a silver-haired judge, a kindly old judge, looked down at me and said, ‘This is the second time I’ve seen you up here and it looks like we’re going to have to do something about this,” he told CMP. “He gave me a choice. He said I could either go into the military — any branch I wanted to go to — or he was going to send me where the sun never shines. And I love sunshine, I don’t know about you.”

Retired Marine Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey takes a break for a smoke outside New River Air Station’s Staff NCO club, in this May 15, 2006 (chicago.suntimes.com)

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