Ronald Lee Ermey, retired USMC sergeant and well known actor of "Full Metal Jacket" fame, died at 74 on Sunday morning in Santa Monica, CA
There's an old saying about U.S. Marines: "Marines don't die. They just go to hell and regroup."
We all couldn't help but thinking about it as we had news of the death of Ronald Lee Ermey, officially given by his longtime agent Bill Rogin in the morning of Sunday, April 15 2018, Pacific Time (late night between 4/15/2018 and 4/16/2018 in Europe).
R. Lee Ermey died at age 74 due to complications of pneumonia.
R. Lee Ermey served in the United States Marine Corps for eleven years, from 1961 to 1972, and has been a drill instructor in India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego from 1965 to 1967.
Medically discharged in 1972 as a staff sergeant because of several injuries incurred during his service, in 2002 Ermey received an honorary promotion to gunnery sergeant (E-7) by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones.
R. Lee Ermey's acting career began in 1978; the role of drill instructor Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece Full Metal Jacket earned him fame and a Golden Globe nomination. Ermey would later spoof that very same iconic role several times all through his career, most notably in the 1996 horror comedy The Frighteners, helmed by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson.
All through his acting career, R. Lee Ermey collected 124 credits as a character actor and voice actor, mostly playing military or otherwise authority figures in top-billing feature films such as Mississippi Burning, Fletch Lives and The Salton Sea.
In later years, R. Lee Ermey would go on to host shows and documentary series such as Mail Call, Lock'N'Load with R. Lee Ermey or GunnyTime with R. Lee Ermey for the Outdoor Channel and the History Channel.
In everyday life, R. Lee Ermey was known as a family man, a kind and gentle soul, generous to everyone around him and especially caring for others in need. A testimonial for companies such as Glock and SOG Knives, he was also a common sighting at the yearly NSSF SHOT Show, and a well known supporter of gun rights.
Marines die, that's what were here for! But the Marine Corps lives forever. And that means you live forever.
SEMPER FI, GUNNY!