R. Lee Ermey, who was a Golden Globe nominee for the 1987 film "Full Metal Jacket," has died, THR reports. He was 74.
The sad news came via his official Twitter account, and was verified by Ermey's manager Bill Rogin, who wrote, "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. He will be greatly missed by all of us. Semper Fi, Gunny, Godspeed."
Ermey's death was a surprise to his friends and family, Rogin confirmed. He wrote on Ermey's official Facebook page, "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."
After a trouble-making youth and 11 years in the military, Ermey retired and began acting, landing a role in the iconic film "Apocalypse Now" (1979). His portrayal of a no-B.S. racist, homophobic drill sergeant in "Full Metal Jacket," directed by Stanley Kubrick, earned him acclaim, although he always said he was a nice guy in real life.
Giving hell to Vincent D'Onofrio's character in "Full Metal Jacket"
He went on to appear in a number of other memorable films, among them "Mississippi Burning" (1988), "Toy Soldiers" (1991), "Sommersby" (1993), "Se7en" (1995), and "Leaving Las Vegas" (1995).
In recent times, he was the host of Outdoor Channel's "GunnyTime with R. Lee Ermey" (2015-2017).
Ermey is survived by his wife of over 40 years, Nila, and four children.