RIP: Remembering R. Lee Ermey

Ashley (Kimber)

My boyfriend came home sad about ONE thing in the news today.

R. Lee Ermey has passed away.

Everyone in the military loves R. Lee Ermey.”

According to Fox:

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. He was 74.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Bill Rogin said Ermey had died due to complications from pneumonia.

“He will be greatly missed by all of us,” Rogin wrote. “Semper Fi, Gunny. Godspeed.”

Ermey wasn’t just an actor… he was a man’s man, a major defender of our second amendment, and a strong supporter of our military.

A Kansas native, Ermey enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1961 at age 17. He served for 11 years, including 14 months in Vietnam, before he was discharged in 1972. He served as a technical adviser in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 Vietnam War epic, “Apocalypse Now,” in which he also had a small role as a helicopter pilot.

But Ermey didn’t get his big break until eight years later, in Kubrick’s own take on Vietnam. He was originally supposed to be a technical adviser, but Kubrick offered him the role of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman after seeing a demo tape of Ermey railing at extras while tennis balls flew at him.

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.

“Here you are all equally worthless,” Ermey/Hartman says by way of introduction. “And my orders are to weed out all non-hackers who do not pack the gear to serve in my beloved Corps. Do you maggots understand that?”

Sir, Yes Sir.

Kubrick told Rolling Stone that 50 percent of Ermey’s dialogue in the film was his own.

“In the course of hiring the marine recruits, we interviewed hundreds of guys. We lined them all up and did an improvisation of the first meeting with the drill instructor. They didn’t know what he was going to say, and we could see how they reacted. Lee came up with, I don’t know, 150 pages of insults,” Kubrick said.

BAHAHAHAHA. And they were all GOLD.

D’Onofrio and “Full Metal Jacket” co-star Matthew Modine tweeted their condolences late Sunday, with Modine quoting the poet Dylan Thomas.

 

And it gets better… he was a HARDCORE conservative. A rarity in Hollywood.

An outspoken conservative, Ermey spoke to Fox News in 2016 about being “blackballed” from Hollywood over his political views.

“I’ve had a very fruitful career. I’ve done over 70 feature films,” he said. “I’ve done over 200 episodes of [Outdoor Channel series ‘GunnyTime’]… and then [Hollywood] found out that I’m a conservative.”

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.

“Do you realize I have not done a movie in five to six years? Why? Because I was totally blackballed by the … liberals in Hollywood,” he alleged. “They can destroy you. They’re hateful people [who] don’t just not like you, they want to take away your livelihood … that’s why I live up in the desert on a dirt road … I don’t have to put up with their crap.”

What a loss…

“He will be greatly missed by all of us,” Rogin told The Associated Press Sunday. “It is a terrible loss that nobody was prepared for.”

Rogin says that while his characters were often hard and principled, the real Ermey was a family man and a kind and gentle soul who supported the men and women who serve.

Yup. He did a BUNCH of USO stuff… and those he visited absolutely loved him for it.

What a great guy.

RIP.