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R. Lee Ermey

R. Lee Ermey.jpg

Miami Vice Character
Metro-Dade Detective Sergeant Ernest Haskell, Homicide ("The Rising Sun of Death")
Born
Ronald Lee Ermey
March 24, 1944
Emporia, Kansas, U.S.
Died
April 15, 2018 (aged 74)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Active (Marine Corps)
1961-1972
Actor
1977-2017

Ronald Lee Ermey (March 24, 1944 – April 15, 2018) was a U.S. Marine Corps Drill Instructor and actor. He made his television debut as Metro-Dade Homicide Detective Sergeant Ernest Haskell in the episode "The Rising Sun of Death" of Miami Vice. He provided the voice of Sarge in the Toy Story franchise and the Sergeant Bunny in Father of the Pride.

On April 15, 2018, Ermey died at a hospital in Santa Monica, California of pneumonia at the age of 74.

Career

Military

Ermey served in the United States Marine Corps starting in 1961, became a Drill Instructor from 1965-67 in San Diego, California and Parris Island, South Carolina. He served 14 months in Vietnam during the war years and two tours in Okinawa, Japan, and rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant before being medically retired in 1972. In 2002, Marine Corps Commandant General James L. Jones bestowed on Ermey the honorary post-service rank of Gunnery Sergeant ("Gunny") for his continuing service to Americans in the military.

Acting

Ermey got into acting after his military service ended, making his film debut in The Boys in Company C, then appeared in Apocalypse Now (with Laurence Fishburne and Albert Hall) before serving as technical advisor to Lou Gossett, Jr.'s role as Sgt. Foley in An Officer and a Gentleman, for which Gossett, Jr. won an Oscar.

Full Metal Jacket

In 1986, Stanley Kubrick, noting Ermey's military background and his assistance with Gossett Jr., cast Ermey as D.I. Hartman in Full Metal Jacket (with Vincent D'Onofrio and Kevyn Major Howard), originally as a technical adviser. However, when Kubrick saw how easily Ermey intimidated soldiers with his salty dialogue (and to ensure authenticity), Kubrick allowed Ermey to improvise his lines (a noted rarity in a Kubrick film). Ermey received a Golden Globe nomination for his role as Hartman.

After Jacket

After his successful role as Hartman, Ermey found himself cast as tough military and / or leader types in many other films and television series, including Mississippi Burning (with Brad Dourif and Pruitt Taylor Vince), Fletch Lives, China Beach, Toy Soldiers, Body Snatchers (with Terry Kinney), On Deadly Ground (with Joan Chen), Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (with Ellen Greene), Toy Story (with Penn Jillette) and its two sequels Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 (which was Ermey's most recent film appearance), The Simpsons (with Harry Shearer) and JAG, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and its prequel The Beginning, House, M.D., Law and Order: SVU, and voice over roles in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Family Guy, and The Simpsons.

He also appeared on the History Channel's series Mail Call and Lock 'N' Load with R. Lee Ermey and his final appearances were in Gunnytime with R. Lee Ermey.

Death

On the morning of April 15, 2018, Ermey passed away at a hospital in Santa Monica, California of pneumonia at the age of 74. His funeral was held in Arlington National Cemetery.

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