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Ronald Lee Ermey(March 24, 1944 – April 15, 2018)was an American actor and voice actor. Ermey is known for playingGunnery SergeantHartmaninFull Metal Jacket, which earned him aGolden Globe Awardnomination forBest Supporting Actor. He is a formerUnited States Marine Corpsstaff sergeantand an honorary gunnery sergeant; during his tenure in the U.S. Marine Corps, he served as adrill instructor.
Ermey has often beentypecastin authority figure roles, such as Mayor Tilman in the filmMississippi Burning,Bill BowermaninPrefontaine,Sheriff HoytinThe Texas Chainsaw Massacreremake, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman inStanley Kubrick‘sFull Metal Jacket, Jimmy Lee Farnsworth inFletch Lives, a police captain inSe7en,plastic army menleaderSargein theToy Storyfilms, Lt. “Tice” Ryan inRocket Power, the warden inSpongeBob SquarePants, and John House inHouse.
Ermey has hosted two programs on theHistory Channel:Mail Call, in which he answered viewers’ questions about various military issues both modern and historic; andLock N’ Load with R. Lee Ermey, which concerned the development of different types of weapons. He also hostedGunny Timeon the Outdoor channel.
Statement from Bill Rogan, R. Lee Ermey’s long-time manager:
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. He will be greatly missed by all of us. It is a terrible loss that nobody was prepared for. He has meant so much to so many people. And, it is extremely difficult 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. He has also contributed many iconic and indelible characters on film that will live on forever. Gunnery Sergeant Hartman of Full Metal Jacket fame was a hard and principled man. The real R. Lee Ermey was a family man, and a kind and gentle soul. He was generous to everyone around him. And, he especially cared deeply for others in need.
There is a quote made famous in Full Metal Jacket. It’s actually the Riflemen’s Creed. “This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.”
There are many Gunny’s, but this one was OURS. And, we will honor his memory with hope and kindness. Please support your men and women in uniform. That’s what he wanted most of all.
Semper Fi, Gunny. Godspeed.