R. Lee Ermey Has Passed Away

2018/04/16 00:48:26 +00:00 | Derek Anderson

With a relentless delivery of some of the most head-turning lines in cinema, R. Lee Ermey had a commanding, unparalleled screen presence in films and television, and we're sad to share the news of the iconic actor's passing at the age of 74.

The news of R. Lee Ermey's passing was shared on Twitter by his manager, Bill Rogin, who posted:

"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."

A US Marine, Vietnam veteran, and drill instructor in real life, Ermey brought that same military intensity, determination, and passion to the big screen in 1987 for his standout role as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket.

Although he's perhaps best known for his award-worthy work in Full Metal Jacket, Ermey's career included well over 100 acting credits in film and television, with intriguing performances in Se7en, Saving Silverman, and Dead Man Walking, to name a few. Ermey's unique, tough-as-nails voice also made him a sought-after voice actor for animated films and television, including multiple Toy Story movies, Rocket Power, and Kim Possible.

The versatile actor was no stranger to the horror genre as well, appearing in The X-Files, Tales from the Crpyt, The Terror Within II, 1993's Body Snatchers, The Frighteners, The Rift, and 2003's Willard. He also left an indelible mark on the genre with his role as the unsettling Sheriff Hoyt in 2003's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre reimagining and its prequel, 2006's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. Hoyt is the kind of character who sticks with you, the one you might keep an eye out for in real life while driving down Texas backroads.

Although he played many supporting roles in his career, Ermey always instilled his characters with a liveliness and thoughtful depth that often made you want to see them star in their own films. His screen presence was truly one of a kind and more than lived up to the expression, "They don't make them like that anymore." Whether he was serving his country or entertaining millions on the big and small screens, Ermey was an admirable talent who will be missed. Our thoughts are with Ermey's family and friends during this difficult time.

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.