R. Lee Ermey, star of 'Full Metal Jacket', has died

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R. Lee Ermey

Getty Images R. Lee Ermey

The former marine also played numerous character roles in television programmes such as Tales from the Crypt, The X-Files and House.

According to Rogin, Ermey died Sunday morning due to complications from pneumonia. At age, 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the drill sergeant persona came naturally to Ermey because he had really served in the military, for 11 years. Ermey had been brought on as a technical consultant for the 1987 film, but he had his eyes on the role of the brutal gunnery sergeant and filmed his own audition tape of him yelling out insults while tennis balls flew at him.

Kubrick allowed Ermey to improvise and write or edit his dialogue, and he said Ermey often only needed two or three takes to finish a scene - both unusual for Kubrick films. In the film, Ermey's Hartman makes life a living hell for a group of Marine Corps recruits. "He loved it. He just let me go insane".

"Right here you're all equally nugatory", Ermey/Hartman says by the use of introduction. "I haven't got to place up with their crap".

He said he went to the military after appearing in court for the second time, where the judge gave him a choice between prison or joining the armed forces.

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On TV, Ermey had smaller roles, but stayed busy as Dr. Gregory House's father on "House" and a reverand on "The X-Files". That's what he wanted most of all.

"I'm not like the characters I play - my wife wouldn't allow me through the door if I was", Ermey told USA TODAY.

Some of his other film credits include Mississippi Burning, Fletch Lives, Se7en, the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Toy Story, and Prefontaine. He also hosted "Mail Call" (2002-2009) on The History Channel where he would answer letters from viewers about weapons, tactics, equipment and military terminology. "He will be greatly missed by all of us", the tweet says. It is a bad loss that nobody was prepared for.

"It is extremely hard to truly quantify all of the great things this man has selflessly done for, and on behalf of, our many men and women in uniform".

The Kanas native was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his memorable performance in "Full Metal Jacket", immortalizing lines like "What is your major malfunction?"

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