Actor R. Lee Ermey has sadly passed away. His manager Bill Rogin reported today on Ermey’s Facebook page that he died this morning at the age of 74. He was best known for his legendary performances as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket, the villainous Sheriff Hoyt in Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, and countless other memorable roles.
Bill Rogin had this to say in his post:
“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,” said Rogin, “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.”
Rogin went on to say, “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.”
Ermey absolutely commanded the screen with his characters. The charismatic, real-life Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant always brought his strong, infectious personality and humor to his roles. Whether playing a villain or a hero, you couldn’t help but love his authoritative performances.
Rest in peace, R. Lee Ermey.