Full Metal Jacket actor dies aged 74

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R. Lee Ermey, a former drill instructor who became a Marine Corps icon for his portrayal of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman aka "The Gunny" in the 1972 film "Full Metal Jacket, is dead, his manager said".

Ermey's longtime manager Bill Rogin says he died Sunday morning from pneumonia-related complications. Beginning in 1968, he spent 14 months in Vietnam and then served another decade, based in Okinawa, Japan, as a staff sergeant. As an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment, Ermey also served as a board member of the National Rifle Association.

One of Ermey's first roles was as a chopper pilot in Apocalypse Now, during which time he also acted as a technical advisor to Francis Ford Coppola. He starred in a series of other movies over the years, including Mississippi Burning, Prefontaine, Fletch Lives, and a remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

R. Lee rose to fame as callous Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in the 1987 film Full Metal Jacket.

In a post on Facebook - since made inaccessible - his manager Bill Rogin said: "It is extremely hard 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". After some minor film parts, the actor was meant to advise on another movie as well: Full Metal Jacket. Ermey wasn't originally going to act in the movie, he was hired on as a consultant, but a training video that he made convinced Kubrick to cast him in one of the most iconic roles in movie history. Please support your men and women in uniform. Kubrick said at the time that 50 percent of the insulting dialogues were all Ermey's improvisation.

Golden Globe-nominated actor R. Lee Ermey has died at age 74. "And I love sunshine, I don't know about you". From 2002 to 2009, Ermey hosted the history channel series Mail Call, where he read and answered viewer questions regarding weapons, equipment, customs, and terminology used by the USA military now and in the past. He provided voices for characters in Disney Pixar's Toy Story and Spongebob Squarepants.

An outspoken conservative, Ermey spoke to Fox Information in 2016 about being "blackballed" from Hollywood over his political opinions.

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