R Lee Ermey, known for his iconic performance as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick‘s Full Metal Jacket, has passed away at the age of 74 due to pneumonia-related complications. According to his manager, Bill Rogin, the actor passed away on Sunday local time in a hospital in Santa Monica, California.
Ermey, who was an actual US Marine Corp drill instructor who served 14 months in the Vietnam War, was brought on to Full Metal Jacket as a technical advisor for military authenticity but was cast by Kubrick after seeing an instructional tape Ermey made of the appropriate way to dress down soldiers. Kubrick has claimed that around 50% of Ermey’s dialogue in the movie was improvised, which is wildly uncharasteric of the fastidious way Kubrick usually treated his actors and their dialogue.
Ermey also appeared in Toy Story, Mississippi Burning, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes, and countless others.