The actor R. Lee Ermey, best known for his role in the unforgettable and terrifying sergeant Hartman in the war movie Full Metal Jacket, died Sunday at age 74 of complications from complications from pneumonia. Here are five things to know about this actor in an atypical manner :
1. A cult figure
It is mainly thanks to his role of the irascible and uncompromising sgt Hartman in the war movie Full Metal Jacket by Stanley Kubrick, R. Lee Ermey is known of movie-goers. Nominated for a Golden Globe in 1988 for this performance, the actor has marked the spirits with the character of teacher is very authoritarian who took pleasure in humiliating the young soldiers that it caused. Depending on what was revealed by Kubrick after the filming, Ermey had improvised for at least 50 % of his lines in the movie, including the ones where he insulted his young recruits.
2. It has been close to death
Another reason for the performance of R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket is passed on to the story : the actor has been close to death during the filming. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Kubrick indicated that Ermey had to suspend the shooting of the film for four and a half months after being involved in a car accident. The actor had suffered multiple fractures to the ribs and could have let his life had he not been rescued by a motorcyclist who had noticed his calls to lighthouse.
3. Other important roles
Subscriber to the roles of military and other characters from authoritarian, R. Lee Ermey has appeared in several films highlights of the american cinema of the past 40 years. The american actor played in particular a helicopter pilot in the drama of war Apocalypse Now Francis Ford Coppola (1979), a mayor in Mississippi Burning (1988), a general in Body Snatchers (1993), a police chief in the thriller Seven (1995) and a sheriff in the remake of the horror film The texas chainsaw Massacre (2003).
4. The Simpsons to toy Story
You can also hear the voice of R. Lee Ermey in a number of films or animated series. Thus, in the three films of the saga History of toys, he has lent his voice to the commander of the army of small soldiers, miniature green, a nod to his character in Full Metal Jacket. There has also been talk about a character inspired by sergeant Hartman in the popular series The Simpsons.
5. His military past
Before becoming an actor, R. Lee Ermey has even worked in the army. He has been an instructor for the Marines in San Diego from 1965 to 1967 before being sent to Vietnam in 1968 to 14 months. He then continued his service to the military base of Okinawa to Japan before to be released of his services in 1972 because of his many war wounds.