R. Lee Ermey, a former Marine Corps drill instructor known to millions of moviegoers as the sadistic Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket,” died Sunday morning, according to his longtime manager.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Bill Rogin said Ermey had died due to complications from pneumonia.
A Kansas native, Ermey enlisted in the Marine Corps and age 17 and spent 14 months in Vietnam before he was discharged in 1972.
Ermey didn’t get his big break until eight years later, in Kubrick’s own take on Vietnam.
In his role as a drill instructor breaking in new Marines at boot camp on Parris Island, S.C., Ermey roared his way into film history by berating his unfortunate charges.
“Full Metal Jacket” earned Ermey a Golden Globe nomination, as well as a career playing authority figures – from Mayor Tilman in 1988’s “Mississippi Burning” to a toy soldier sergeant in the more family-friendly “Toy Story.”
An outspoken conservative, Ermey spoke to Fox News in 2016 about being “Blackballed” from Hollywood over his political views.
Ermey, who was an NRA board member, said at the time that his association with the organization and his disapproval of President Obama cost him acting jobs.