“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,” said longtime manager, Bill Rogin in a tweet yesterday afternoon.
The actor, best known for his role in Full Metal Jacket, died yesterday from complications from pneumonia.
A veteran in the US Marine Corps, doing 14 months in Vietnam and completing two tours in Okinawa, Japan, Ermey put his real-life experience into his movie roles. Ermey also portrayed a helicopter pilot in 1979’s Apocalypse Now, and also served as a technical adviser to director Francis Ford Coppola on the film. Then, in a perfect case of art imitating life, he played a Marine drill instructor in Sidney Furie’s The Boys in Company C.
His role as “The Gunny” in Full Metal Jacket in 1987, however, brought him a Golden Globe nomination and much acclaim. His most iconic lines from the film include “What is your major malfunction, numbnuts? Didn’t mommy and daddy show you enough attention when you were a child?” and “I want that head so sanitary and squared away that the Virgin Mary herself would be proud to go in there and take a dump.”
Despite the jarring quality of his characters, Ermey said in a 2010 Spokesman interview, “I’m basically a nice person.”
“He will be greatly missed by all of us.” Continued the Rogin’s tweet, “Semper Fi, Gunny. Godspeed.”
Statement from R. Lee Ermey's long time manager, Bill Rogin:
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. pic.twitter.com/vf4O78JKmb
— R. Lee Ermey (@RLeeErmey) April 15, 2018