American actor R. Lee Ermelo, known for his memorable performance of tough and fearsome sergeant Hartman of metal jacket and who served in U.S. Marines during Vietnam war, has died this Sunday at 74 years because of pneumonia.
Statement from R. Lee Ermey's long time manager, Bill Rogin: It is with deep sadness that I regret to inform you all that R. Lee Ermelo ("The Gunny") passed away this morning from complications of pneumonia. He will be greatly missed by all of us. Semper Fi, Gunny. Godspeed. Pic.twitter.com/vf4O78JKmb— R. Lee Ermelo (@RLeeErmey) April 15, 2018
Your rep, Bill Rogin, has confirmed it on your Twitter account. "With deep sadness I regret to inform you all that R. Lee Ermelo died this morning for complications of pneumonia. We'll all miss you. Semper Fi, Gunny. Good luck, "Rogin has written in reference to slogan of Marine Corps, in which Ermelo served 1961 to 1971, when he was discharged for health reasons. As a marine, he spent 14 months in Vietnam and was also on two occasions in Okinawa (Japan).
Ermelo, nicknamed Gunny ( gunner), was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant in 2002 once retired, making him first retired military in history of Marines to be ascended to that date.
Once Vietnam war ended in 1975, Ermelo studied dramatic Art at University of Manila in Philippines. While studying, he got a role in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979). He became a helicopter pilot and worked as a technical adviser with Coppola.
But his most memorable interpretation and one that made him world famous is that of grumpy and brutal Sergeant Hartman in metallic jacket, shot by Stanley Kubrick in 1987, in which he tries to convert inexperienced recruits in Marines prepared for combat. Although he was initially hired as an advisor, Kubrick was so impressed with a tape that he had recorded Ermelo himself that included him in cast.
Kubrick allowed Ermelo to improvise, write or modify several lines of dialogue and commented that he was always satisfied with his performance in two or three shots, something very unusual in career of filmmaker.
"I'm gunnery Sergeant Hartman, your Chief instructor. From now on only Hablareis when you are spoken and first and last word that will come out of your filthy peaks is Lord. " Thus was presented to his recruits sergeant, left innumerable phrases for memory, most of m directed to "private Pyle", interpreted by Vincent D'Onofrio, who suffered verbal and physical abuses on part of his superior.
Ermelo was nominated to Golden Globe for best Actor for his performance in metal Jacket. During his nearly 40-year career as an actor, he appeared in 60 films, often in roles related to army and some of great renown such as Texas massacre, Leaving Las Vegas, Seven, Mississippi in flames and death penalty, among or titles.
The interpreter also gave a voice to character of Sarge in three deliveries of Toy Story, a work he did in series like SpongeBob, The Simpsons or far of family.