R. Lee Ermey passed away yesterday due to some complications with pneumonia. He was 74.
R. Lee Ermey’s acting career started fairly late because he was a part of the Marine Corps for over a decade. He broke out with what is still considered his most famous performance in Stanley Kubrick’s second last film Full Metal Jacket. Ermey’s experience with the marines certainly helped him to perform the character. His performance was almost completely improvised as he spent the whole first half of the movie insulting those below him. The role won him a Golden Globe nomination and it was the only one he had in his career. His performance is still considered one of the highlights of the movie and its still heavily quoted today.
Ermy appeared in Mississippi Burning before the end of the 90s as well as the Chevy Chase sequel Fletch Lives. 1995 was a good year for him as he appeared in Seven, Dead Man Walking and voiced the plastic green toy soldier Sargent in Toy Story, a role he would perform several more times in his career.
He thinned his work load in the 2000s often appearing in just a couple of projects a year. He appeared in the two Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes as a member of the murderous Hewitt family. His work has been very limited over the last decade as he reached older age.
What is your favorite performance from R. Lee Ermey? RIP.