R. Lee Ermey, the real-life military veteran who turned maggots into Marines in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket," died Sunday morning from complications from pneumonia, according to a statement from his longtime manager posted to the actor's official Twitter account. He was 74.
Ermey carved his place into cinema history with his memorable portrayal of foul-mouthed Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Kubrick's 1987 Vietnam War drama, and he would go on to play tough-as-nails authority figures from coaches to colonels to sheriffs and generals over a nearly four-decade career in film and television.
But his most recognizable turn by far remained the drill instructor hammering new U.S. Marine Corps. recruits Joker (Matthew Modine) and Pyle (Vincent D'Onofrio) into battle-ready soldiers in "Full Metal Jacket," a role punctuated by indelible and highly profane quotes that earned him a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor.
It was on TV, now let's talk about it.
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