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R. Lee Ermey Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (21) | Personal Quotes (42)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 24 March 1944Emporia, Kansas, USA
Birth NameRonald Lee Ermey
Nickname The Gunny
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

A talented character actor known for his military roles, Ronald Lee Ermey was in the United States Marine Corps for 11 years. He rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant, and later was bestowed the honorary rank of Gunnery Sergeant by the Marine Corps, after he served 14 months in Vietnam and later did two tours in Okinawa, Japan. After injuries forced him to retire from the Corps, he moved to the Phillipines, enrolling in the University of Manila, where he studied Criminology and Drama. He appeared in several Filipino films before being cast as a helicopter pilot in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979). Due to his Vietnam experiences, Coppola also utilized him as a technical adviser. He got a featured role in Sidney J. Furie's The Boys in Company C (1978), playing a drill instructor. Ermey worked with Furie again in Purple Hearts (1984).

However, his most famous (or infamous) role came as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket (1987), for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe. He did win the best supporting actor award from The Boston Society of Film Critics. Since then, he has appeared in numerous character roles in such films as Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Se7en (1995) and Dead Man Walking (1995). However, Ermey prefers comedy to drama, and has a comedic role in Saving Silverman (2001). Ronald Lee Ermey continues to be one of the best character actors in the business, and you can bet that when his name appears in a movie's credits, he is going to be top notch in his role.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Nick Johansen / honassen@yahoo.com

Spouse (1)

Nila Ermey (1975 - present) (4 children)

Trade Mark (3)

Best known for playing military drill instructors
Commanding and dynamic delivery.
Tough and often scary screen presence

Trivia (21)

Was not intended to be in Full Metal Jacket (1987). He was hired as a technical advisor for the actor who was to play the drill instructor, but he did such a good job at it that Ermey himself was hired for the part.
Served in the United States Marine Corps from April 1961 to October 1971 under the service number 195-60-39. Was retired as a Staff Sergeant on a medical disability.
Although he retired from the United States Marine Corps in 1971, Ermey was later awarded the Honorary rank of Gunnery Sergeant.
United States Marine Corps awards and decorations include: Meritorious Unit Commendation, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (w/bronze service star), Vietnam Campaign Medal (w/60 Device), Vietnam Gallantry Cross (w/Palm), Good Conduct Medal (w/two bronze service stars), Marksman Badge (w/Rifle Bar) and Sharpshooter Badge (w/Pistol Bar).
After injuries forced him to retire from military service, he moved to the Phillipines and enrolled in the University of Manila, where he studied Criminology and Drama.
Used the same line ("You're not afraid of a little blood, are you?") in two consecutive movies -- Willard (2003) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003). Both films were released in 2003 and both films just happened to be remakes as well.
Chosen as first celebrity spokesperson for Glock firearms and products in 2004.
Parodied his famous role from Full Metal Jacket (1987) (Gunnery Sergeant Hartman) as a Ghost in the comedy film The Frighteners (1996).
Aside from his early military roles, he often plays authority figures, such as sheriffs, police chiefs and other types of law-enforcement officers.
Has four children with wife Nila and two daughters from a previous marriage. Has nine grandchildren.
In 1987, he was involved in a jeep accident during the making of Full Metal Jacket (1987). At 1:00 am one morning, he skidded off the road, breaking all the ribs on his left side. He refused to pass out and kept flashing his car lights until a motorist stopped. In some scenes in the movie, he does not move his left arm at all.
In 2010, he was chosen as new spokesman for SOG Specialty Knives & Tool. SOG's new "Gunny Approved" advertising campaign includes a special edition line of knives and tools developed in conjunction with Ermey.
Was one of the few people ever allowed to improvise for notorious perfectionist Stanley Kubrick. A lot of his dialogue lines in Full Metal Jacket (1987) were improvised.
Was seriously considered for the role of J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man (2002), before J.K. Simmons was cast.
Hosting "Mail Call" on the History Channel. [August 2002]
Currently doing a series of radio and television commercials for Geico. [July 2010]
Hosting "Lock N Load" a new show about military hardware on the History Channel. [August 2009]
Starting his third year as host on "Mail Call" on the History Channel. [July 2005]
In January, 2014 he outraged animal rights activists by posting photos of himself on Facebook posing with dead lions he had shot in Africa. He also boasted of killing "Cape Buffalo, lion, lioness and ­wildebeest" on previous trips to Africa.
When he was 17, he would always get in trouble so much with the police. During a court hearing, the judge gave him the choice of either facing jail or join the military. He chose the military.
As of 2016, has appeared in three films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Apocalypse Now (1979), Mississippi Burning (1988) and Toy Story 3 (2010)_.

Personal Quotes (42)

It's my firm conviction that when Uncle Sam calls, by God we go, and we do the best that we can.
Even though I disagree with many of the changes, when I see the privates graduate at the end of the day, when they walk off that drill field at the end of the ceremony, they are still fine privates; outstanding, well motivated privates.
I firmly believe that you live and learn, and if you don't learn from past mistakes, then you need to be drug out and shot.
The best part about the movie, and everybody seems to rave about it, is the boot camp part.
The bad news motivated the drill instructors that much more.
There was a huge, tremendous amount of disabled veterans and the Veteran's Administration just wasn't geared up for it. I know for a fact that it's getting better and better.
You'd be surprised how many kids and young people come to the website and send me email that they are actually going into the Marine Corp because of something that I said or did.
For me, it's an honor for the military to ask me to go to Iraq, Afghanistan, or GITMO. I'm happy to go.
Communications are better now than in my Vietnam days.
I don't have any respect at all for the scum-bags who went to Canada to avoid the draft or to avoid doing their fair share.
Drill instructors worked seven days a week, fifteen to seventeen hours a day in many cases, with no time off in between platoons.
The biggest problem was the politicians knew nothing about fighting a war.
Back in those days intimidation was the greatest tool the drill instructor had. Without that tool, he would not have had control.
America's trying to do the best for its veterans.
The drill instructor must have total and complete control. Mindless obedience is what he's after.
I always love to come to Austin.
I don't have to be concerned about everybody else's character.
Back in the old Corp, we weren't training those privates to infiltrate into the peacetime Marine Corp. We were training those privates to go to Vietnam.
I go the VA Hospital when I have a problem and the doctor jumps on me.
Without discipline, there is no Marine Corps.
Playing the good guy is tough because you know as well as I do, in real life, you have to watch your P's and Q's and conduct yourself in a respectable manner if you expect to have friends.
I'm never, like I say, I'm never happy, I'm never satisfied, it's never good enough.
I was stationed at a marine recruit depot in San Diego from 1965 to 1967.
There's a lot of whiners in every crowd.
Kubrick's films have life - they just never die.
I spend a lot of time with my characters.
I've never had to spend any time in the VA hospital, so I really can't speak for those guys.
Kubrick ate it up. He loved it. He just let me go crazy.
In order to be a good actor, I'm a firm believer that you need to bring something to the table.
That's all I cared about too, was getting it right.
I try to get over to Iraq and Afghanistan as much as I can.
There have been a lot of changes in recruit training in the past twenty years.
We had times in '66 and '67 when we would pick up a platoon of privates out of the receiving barracks the week before we even graduated the platoon that we were on!
I play well with everybody.
It's been a pretty fun ride, to tell you the truth.
I disagree with a lot of those changes, however at the end of the day - I go down to recruit graduation at least once or twice a year.
Everybody respects the Vietnam Veterans of America.
I got space from Travis Air Force Base, went back to the Philippine Islands and made it a point to meet the only American casting director in the Philippines. I was off and running.
I honestly do feel that I am a role model for young people.
When you try to find funding for a VVA function, it doesn't seem like it's any trouble at all. People come out of the woodwork with their money to help out because we went over and fought a war.
Every character I've ever played, I always try to take him right to the edge and not allow him to fall over, but directors have a tendency to pull me back a little bit.
I got to write most of everything I said.

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