R. Lee Ermey, best known for his role as the ferocious drill sergeant in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, has died at the age of 74.
In a statement, his agent confirmed the actor’s death from 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. He will be greatly missed by all of us. Semper Fi, Gunny. Godspeed”, a statement confirmed.
Ermey gained a Golden Globe nomination for his powerful performance as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the iconic 1987 war film, which follows the training of a U.S. Marines Platoon as they prepare for deployment to Vietnam.
His performance was characterised by his no-nonsense attitude that often saw him tearing new recruits to shreds.
In one of the film’s most iconic scenes, Ermey delivers an almighty rant at one soldier, before delivering the now-iconic line: “What is your major malfunction”.
Ermey’s most recognisable on-screen performance also reflected his reality, having previously served as a drill sergeant during the Vietnam War – which allowed him to ad-lib huge portions of dialogue during filming.
After the success of Full Metal Jacket, Ermey went on to star in a string of well-known films including the Toy Story trilogy – where he provided the voice of green toy soldier Sarge.
Paying tribute, Full Metal Jacket star Matthew Modine wrote: “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. Semper Fi, Gunny. Godspeed”.
Co-star Vincent D’Onofrio added: “Ermey was the real deal. The knowledge of him passing brings back wonderful memories of our time together.”