Culture

'Full Metal Jacket' actor & Emporia-native R. Lee Ermey dead at 74

'Full Metal Jacket' actor & Emporia-native R. Lee Ermey dead at 74”

In a statement posted on Twitter Sunday, longtime manager Bill Rogin said he passed away Sunday morning from complications of pneumonia.

The Kansas native enlisted in the Marine Corps and age 17 and spent 14 months in Vietnam before he was discharged in 1972. According to the Marine Times, he left the Marine Corps as a staff sergeant, and later received an honorary promotion to gunnery sergeant from then-Commandant Gen. James Jones in 2002. "My demeanor happens to be a bit more authoritative and film directors, producers want to capitalize on that". The real R. Lee Ermey was a family man, and a kind and gentle soul. There are many Gunny's, but this one was OURS. "And, we will honor his memory with hope and kindness".

Ermey also appeared as a chopper pilot in "Apocalypse Now" while also working as director Francis Ford Coppola's technical adviser on the set of the 1979 war film.

He was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actor for his powerful performance in the movie. In many later appearances, he played the role of a military commander or the "man in charge".

Ermey's military career earned him the nickname "The Gunny".



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