'He really enjoyed being from Emporia:' Decorated veteran, respected actor R. Lee Ermey dies at 74 Featured

R. Lee Ermey, 74, died Sunday after complications from pneumonia. An Emporia native, Ermey served with distinction in the Marine Corps and became a famous actor after his military career ended. R. Lee Ermey, 74, died Sunday after complications from pneumonia. An Emporia native, Ermey served with distinction in the Marine Corps and became a famous actor after his military career ended. R. Lee Ermey Facebook page.

He went from serving our nation to entertaining the world. Now Emporia native R. Lee Ermey has died at the age of 74.

 

Ermey was a former Marine Corps sergeant who also served as a drill instructor during his 11-year career with the Corps. Once out of the military, Ermey launched into a distinguished film and TV career.

 

The combination of Ermey's local ties, military career and film work led organizers of Emporia's All Veterans Tribute to bring Ermey in to help celebrate the city's 50th anniversary of Veterans Day in 2003. Lyon County History Center Director Greg Jordan had a chance to meet Ermey as part of Camp Tribute activities and the taping of Ermey's TV show Mail Call at the old Historical Society building. He remembers Ermey as a funny, warm inpidual who loved his Emporia roots.

 

IMDb says Ermey served 14 months in Vietnam and later served two terms in Japan before injuries forced him into retirement. Ermey served with distinction and was awarded several medals during his time in the military. The Corps later bestowed an honorary gunnery sergeant rank upon Ermey.

 

After his military career ended, Ermey performed in Apocalypse NowLeaving Las VegasSe7en and Dead Man Walking, but his signature role was that of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket in 1987 after he was originally hired as a technical advisor for the movie. Local Vietnam veteran Frank Lowery served at about the same time as Ermey. Lowery says watching Apocalypse and Full Metal Jacket were hard for him because of what the war was like.

 

In addition, Ermey was the voice of Sarge the soldier in the Toy Story movies. He also hosted "Mail Call" on the History Channel for seven years.

 

Funeral services are pending. Jordan says the History Center will develop a special exhibit honoring Ermey.

6:20 pm Sunday: R. Lee Ermey passes away

An Emporia native who made a name for himself as a veteran and later an actor playing significant dramatic roles has died.

Ronald Lee Ermey died Sunday morning of complications from pneumonia, according to his publicist. Ermey was a former Marine Corps sergeant who also served as a drill instructor during his 11-year career with the Corps. IMDb says Ermey served 14 months in Vietnam and later served two terms in Japan before injuries forced him into retirement. Ermey served with distinction and was awarded several medals during his time in the military. The Corps later bestowed an honorary gunnery sergeant rank upon Ermey.

After his military career ended, Ermey moved into acting and was a Golden Globe nominee as best supporting actor for his role of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket in 1987 after originally being hired as a technical advisor for the movie. Ermey had dramatic roles in other movies like Apocalypse Now, Leaving Las Vegas, Se7en and Dead Man Walking along with comedic roles in films like Saving Silverman.

KVOE will have local reaction to the passing of R. Lee Ermey on Sunday evening online at KVOE.com and also during Monday's newscasts.

 

 

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Last modified on Monday, 16 April 2018 14:42

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