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R. Lee Ermey, ‘Full Metal Jacket’ sergeant dies at 74

(Reuters) – R. Lee Ermey, a former marine turned Hollywood actor known for hardheaded military roles like Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket” has died at 74, his manager said.

FILE PHOTO Actor R. Lee Ermey, a cast member in the remake of the acclaimed 1971 horror classic “Willard,” poses during the premiere of the film March 12, 2003 at The Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, California. REUTERS/Jim Ruymen/File Photo

The Kansas native died on Sunday from complications of pneumonia, his manager Bill Rogin said in a tweet.

Ermey, who served in Vietnam, is best remembered as the foul-mouthed drill sergeant in Kubrick’s 1987 film, who tried to turn “maggot” recruits like Joker, played by Matthew Modine, into combat-ready Marines. He was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actor for the role.

In a four-decade acting career, he played a helicopter pilot in “Apocalypse Now,” portrayed authoritarian figures like Mayor Tillman in “Mississippi Burning” and did voice overs for characters like the green plastic soldier “Sarge” in “Toy Story.”

Reporting By Andrew Hay, editing by Darren Schuettler

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