R Lee Ermy, the actor best known for playing foul-mouthed drill sergeant “The Gunny” in Full Metal Jacket, has passed away aged 74.
The news was announced by his long-time manager Bill Rogin via Ermey’s Twitter account, which stated that the star had succumbed to “complications of pneumonia”.
“It is with deep sadness that I regret to inform you all that R Lee Ermey (“The Gunny”) passed away this morning from complications of pneumonia,” the statement read. “He will be greatly missed by all of us.”
Ermey, who solidified his position in popular culture with a series of sweary tirades in Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam war flick, was a staff sergeant in the Marine Corps in the 1960s and 70s and actually served as a drill instructor. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance.
His other memorable on-screen appearances include parts in Se7en and Dead Man Walking – and minor voice roles in The Simpsons, Spongebob Squarepants and the Toy Story film series.
Ermey’s Full Metal Jacket co-stars Matthew Modine and Vincent D’Onofrio were amongst the chorus of voices paying tribute to the actor on Twitter.
#SemperFidelis Always faithful. Always loyal.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
— Matthew Modine (@MatthewModine) April 15, 2018
— Vincent D'Onofrio (@vincentdonofrio) April 16, 2018
— Andrew "Andy" Woodhead (@AwjwWoodhead) April 16, 2018
#RLeeErmey was SO KIND to my children in the Orlando airport on a trip home from @DisneyPixar – he gladly did the voice of 'Sarge' from @pixarcars for my then 4-year-old son. He still remembers it. Thanks for your kindness, sir. You will be missed. And thanks for your service!
— Jennifer McKelvey (@GiGiMcK) April 15, 2018
R. Lee Ermey: This is my rifle! This is my gun!
Recruits: This is for fighting! This is for fun!
Semper Fi Gunny!
— Augie Nash (@AugieNash) April 16, 2018
Rest In Peace
R. Lee Ermey ????
— Carlos Simancas ? (@CarlosSimancas) April 15, 2018
“I am Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, your senior drill instructor. From now on, you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be "Sir." Do you maggots understand that?” #RLeeErmey #RIP #SemperFi
— James LaPorta (@JimLaPorta) April 15, 2018
Today, the world lost a legend: RIP, R. Lee Ermey. Gunny, you’ll be missed.
— Treyarch Studios (@Treyarch) April 16, 2018
In memory of R. Lee Ermey (aka Gunnery Sergeant from ‘Full Metal Jacket’)… pic.twitter.com/vU5BBR69pd
— Dave Vescio (@DaveVescio) April 16, 2018
— Krista Penn ? (@SandboxUS) April 16, 2018