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R. Lee Ermey

R. Lee Ermey

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Also Known As: Lee Ermey Died:
Born: March 24, 1944 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Emporia, Kansas, USA Profession: actor, technical advisor, screenwriter, model, soldier

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Intense middle-aged character player of film and TV who convinces as macho military hard-asses and tough cops (more often than not gone bad). Ermey made an indelible impression as the demanding and brutally derisive Marine drill sergeant in the basic training sequence of Stanley Kubrick's chilling Vietnam drama, "Full Metal Jacket" (1987). His earlier career as a Marine Staff Non-Commissioned Officer serving in Vietnam lent powerful authority to his performance.Ermey medically retired from active duty after sustaining injuries. He moved to Manila in the Philippines where he could afford to live on his disability pay and study for a degree in criminology on the GI Bill. Ermey started each day at the coffee shop of the Manila Hilton where many Hollywood filmmakers dined before the day's location shooting. Eventually one of them asked Ermey to model blue jeans for TV ads. Several macho ads later, the retired soldier landed a role in a local Tagalog-language film. Several other Filipino features followed before 1976 when Ermey wangled his way onto the set of Francis Ford Coppola's epic production "Apocalypse Now" (which would not be released until 1979). Hired to play a helicopter pilot, Ermey utilized...

Intense middle-aged character player of film and TV who convinces as macho military hard-asses and tough cops (more often than not gone bad). Ermey made an indelible impression as the demanding and brutally derisive Marine drill sergeant in the basic training sequence of Stanley Kubrick's chilling Vietnam drama, "Full Metal Jacket" (1987). His earlier career as a Marine Staff Non-Commissioned Officer serving in Vietnam lent powerful authority to his performance.

Ermey medically retired from active duty after sustaining injuries. He moved to Manila in the Philippines where he could afford to live on his disability pay and study for a degree in criminology on the GI Bill. Ermey started each day at the coffee shop of the Manila Hilton where many Hollywood filmmakers dined before the day's location shooting. Eventually one of them asked Ermey to model blue jeans for TV ads. Several macho ads later, the retired soldier landed a role in a local Tagalog-language film. Several other Filipino features followed before 1976 when Ermey wangled his way onto the set of Francis Ford Coppola's epic production "Apocalypse Now" (which would not be released until 1979). Hired to play a helicopter pilot, Ermey utilized his Vietnam memories to act as a technical advisor as well. This quickly led to a job as a technical advisor and actor on the Sidney J. Furie-directed 'Nam drama. "The Boys in Company C" (1977). Furie gave Ermey his next stateside film job as an actor-advisor in the war melodrama "Purple Hearts" (1984) but his career really took off with the Kubrick film.

Ermey has worked regularly in film and TV since the critical triumph of "Jacket". He played the mayor who hanged himself in "Mississippi Burning" (1988), a Southern televangelist in "Fletch Lives" (1989), and a succession of military officers, lawmen, athletic coaches and authority figures in various films, including "Leaving Las Vegas," "Se7en," "Dead Man Walking" (all 1995), "The Frighteners" (1996), "Prefontaine" (1997), "Saving Silverman" (2001), "The Salton Sea" (2002), "Willard" (2003), the remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (2003) and "Man of the House" (2005), as well as the telepics "Weapons of Mass Distraction" (1997) and "You Know My Name" (1999) --and yes, that's Ermey as the voice of the leader of the plastic green army men in the "Toy Story" films.

His TV work is comprised of guest shots, supporting roles in TV movies and a recurring role in the rousing, old-fashioned "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." (Fox, 1993-94), as the late father of the Western hero. He also played police lieutenant Fry on the short-lived American version of the British TV detective series "Cracker" (ABC, 1997), had a recurring role as Titus Scroad on the brief Fox Hollywood satire "Action." Ermey has lent his distinctive bark to numerous animated series and video games as a voiceover actor.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Toy Story 3 (2010)
3.
5.
 Man of the House (2005) Cast
6.
 Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (2003) Sheriff Hoyt
7.
 Willard (2003) Frank Martin
8.
 Run, Ronnie, Run (2002) Lead Kidnapper
9.
 Salton Sea, The (2002) Verne Plummer
10.
 Recess: School's Out (2001) Voice Of Colonel O'Malley
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Served in Vietnam as a Marine staff non-commissioned officer
:
Medically retired from active duty as the result of injuries
:
Moved to Manila in The Philippines
:
Attended college in Manila on the G.I. Bill; studied criminology
:
Frequented the coffee shop of the Manila Hilton where many Hollywood filmmakers would congregate during breaks in location shooting
:
Hired to model blue jeans in TV commercials
:
Appeared in other ads with a macho flavor
:
Made feature debut in a local Tagalog-language movie
:
Appeared in 4-5 Filipino movies over a three-year period
:
Approached Ken Metcalf, the only American casting director in The Philippines in that period, about getting on the set of Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocolypse Now"
1976:
First work on an American feature, played a helicopter pilot and served as a technical advisor on Coppola's "Apocalypse Now" (released 1979)
1977:
First released feature as an actor and technical advisor (as Lee Ermey), "The Boys of Company C"
1987:
Acclaimed for his portrayal of Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" (also served as technical advisor)
1988:
First credit as R Lee Ermey, playing the mayor in "Mississippi Burning"
1989:
First writing credit, additional dialogue for "The Siege of Firebase Gloria"
1990:
TV-movie debut, as a corrupt cop in "The Take" on USA
1993:
Appeared in the recurring role of Brisco County Sr, on "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr."
1997:
Featured on the ABC drama series "Cracker"
1997:
Portrayed coach Bill Bowerman in "Prefontaine"
1999:
Played featured role in "Life"
1999:
Provided the voice of Sarge in "Toy Story 2"
2001:
Cast as a football coach in "Saving Silverman"
2003:
Co-starred as Mr. Martin in "Willard"
2003:
Featured in the horror remake "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"
2006:
Reprised role of Sheriff Hoyt in the prequel "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Served as a Marine staff non-commissioned officer in the 1st Marine Division in I Corps, north of Danang, Vietnam

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Nila Ermey. Married c. 1976.

Contributions

HollisinFairhopeAl ( 2008-11-07 )

Source: not available

Hosted a show called "Mail Call" on the History Channel for several years. It dealt with military weaponry, personnel, tactics, strategy and history from premedieval times until the present day.

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