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Full Metal Jacket Drill Sergeant, Lee Ermey, Dead at 74

We’ll never forget ‘Gunny’. How could we?

R. Lee ‘Gunny’ Ermey, who portrayed the foul-mouthed drill instructor, Gunnery Sgt. Hartman, in Full Metal Jacket, died on Sunday due to complications of pneumonia at a hospital in Santa Monica, CA. Ermey was 74.

He wasn’t just a great actor, though. He was also a Marine drill instructor during the Vietnam War.

Ronald Lee Ermey was born on March 24, 1944, in Emporia, Kan., and moved to Washington State at age 11. He enlisted in the Marines immediately after graduating from high school and intended to spend decades in the military.

Much of the torrent of vicious language he unleashed in “Full Metal Jacket” was recalled from his days in boot camp and his 30 months as a Marine Corps drill instructor during the Vietnam War.

Ermey had a decades-long career in Hollywood, often playing authority figures and appearing in movies such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Se7ven, and voiced the green plastic toy soldier, ‘Sarge’ in the Toy Story franchise.

He also voiced military characters — and occasionally some villains — in popular cartoons.

‘Gunny’ told the New York Times in 1987 that the memorable, clever, and very ‘salty’ dialogue was his own invention based on his military experience.

Mr. Ermey’s 11-year career as a Marine was ended “by a rocket” in 1969, but he would not talk about the war for the Times article, saying: “If a person’s wife and children were killed in a terrible automobile accident, 20 years later it will bother him to talk about it.”

With shrapnel still lodged in his back and arm, Mr. Ermey spent four months in a hospital. Eventually, he moved to the Philippines, where he married, attended college briefly and acted in television commercials.

He is survived by his wife, Marianila Ermey; his brothers Jack Ermey and Terry Ermey; his children Kim Bolt, Rhonda Chilton, Anna Liza Cruz, Betty Ermey, Evonne Ermey and Clinton Ermey; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Source: Daily Wire

The most fitting way that we can think of honoring Ermey is to show some of his memorable performances. But there are so many, we’ve had to be selective.

Watch that memorable opening scene of Full Metal Jacket:

Who can forget this iconic line?

Watch this tribute to this great man:

Ermey was in some pretty memorable commercials, too.

Don’t forget that he was in several commercials for Glock.

Rest In Peace, R. Lee Ermey.

You will be missed.

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K. Walker

ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker