On Sunday, the sad news broke that a true American patriot had passed away and he will be badly missed. Former USMC drill instructor R. Lee Ermey who was able to land a role in Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 Vietnam war film “Full Metal Jacket” and went on to a long career in movies. He died of complications from 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 Ermey ("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 Ermey (@RLeeErmey) April 15, 2018
Ermey was masterful in “Full Metal Jacket” although his character met with a tragic ending after the psychotic “Private Gomer Pyle” went to the latrine with his weapon. It wasn’t Ermey’s first movie appearance as a drill instructor, he played a similar part in “The Boys in Company C” back in 1978, one of the first movies made after the war had ended. Throughout his career, he played variations of the character in multiple genres but he will always be remembered for that breakthrough role.
Both of Ermey’s co-stars in “Full Metal Jacket” paid tribute to him, Matthew Modine was Pvt. Joker and Vincent D’Onofrio who played Pyle.
— Vincent D'Onofrio (@vincentdonofrio) April 16, 2018
Despite his extensive body of work and his devotion to patriotic causes and support of the military, Ermey found himself on the Hollywood blacklist after he made comments that were uncomplimentary to Dear Leader Barack Obama.
According to a Fox News story from 2016 “‘GunnyTime’ host R. Lee Ermey ‘blackballed’ from Hollywood for conservative views”:
The 72-year-old has appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows, most recently starring in his Outdoor Channel reality show “GunnyTime.”
The Marine turned actor told FOX411 while his reality show is in its second season, he can’t seem to book any other gigs in Hollywood.
“I’ve had a very fruitful career. I’ve done over 70 feature films,” Gunny told FOX411. “I’ve done over 200 episodes of [‘GunnyTime’]… and then [Hollywood] found out that I’m a Conservative.”
Actually, he corrected, “I’m an Independent, but I said something bad about the president. I had something unsavory to say about the president’s administration, and even though I did vote for him the first time around, I was blackballed.”
Gunny, who is an NRA board member, explained that his association with the organization and his disapproval of President Obama cost him acting jobs.
“Do you realize I have not done a movie in five to six years? Why? Because I was totally blackballed by the… liberals in Hollywood,” he alleged. “They can destroy you. They’re hateful people [who] don’t just not like you, they want to take away your livelihood… that’s why I live up in the desert on a dirt road… I don’t have to put up with their crap.”
The was also fired by insurance giant GEICO over his free speech and honest criticism of Obama which was a precursor of corporate America’s war on the NRA, an organization of which Ermey was a board member.