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R. Lee Ermey (1944)

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  Summary  

Ronald Lee Ermey is a retired United States Marine Corps drill instructor and actor.

Ermey has often played the roles of authority figures, such as his breakout performance as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket, Mayor Tilman in the Alan Parker film Mississippi Burning, Bill Bowerman in Prefontaine, Sheriff Hoyt in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, and plastic army men leader Sarge in the Toy Story films.

He has hosted two programs on the History Channel: Mail Call, in which he answered viewers' questions about various militaria both modern and historic; and Lock N' Load with R. Lee Ermey, which focused on the development of different types of weapons.

He is currently a board member for the National Rifle Association.

  Biography  

 acting career
 Films
Ermey was cast in his first film while attending the University of Manila in the Philippines, using his G.I. Bill benefits. He first played a Marine drill instructor in the 1978 Vietnam-era film The Boys in Company "C", which brought Ermey to the attention of Stanley Kubrick in later years. Ermey then played an Air Cavalry Officer in Apocalypse Now, doubling as a technical advisor to director Francis Ford Coppola. He also served as Louis Gossett's technical advisor for the film An Officer and a Gentleman. For the next few years, Ermey played a series of minor film roles until 1987, when he was cast as tough drill instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. Initially he was intended to be only the technical advisor. Kubrick changed his mind after Ermey put together an instructional tape, in which Ermey went on an extended hair-raising drill instructor tirade towards several extras, convincing Kubrick he was the right person for the role. Seeking absolute military authenticity for the film, Kubrick allowed Ermey to write or edit his own dialogue and improvise on the set, a noted rarity in a Kubrick film. Kubrick later indicated that Ermey was an excellent performer, often needing just two or three takes per scene, also unusual for a Kubrick film. Ermey's performance won critical raves and he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award as Best Supporting Actor. He later played a tough drill instructor in the pilot episode of Space: Above and Beyond and ghost of a drill instructor in the film The Frighteners, both similar to his character in Full Metal Jacket.

He has since appeared in approximately sixty films, including Mississippi Burning, The Siege of Firebase Gloria, Dead Man Walking, Se7en, Fletch Lives, Leaving Las Vegas, Prefontaine, Saving Silverman, On Deadly Ground, Life, Man of the House, Toy Soldiers, The Salton Sea, as well as the remakes of Willard and as an evil sadist in the two The Texas Chainsaw Massacre films. Ermey also lent his voice to The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 3, as well as Roughnecks and X-Men 3. He usually appears in a commanding military role, for shows such as Kim Possible, The Simpsons, Family Guy, SpongeBob SquarePants, Miami Vice, House, Scrubs, My Life as a Teenage Robot and Invader Zim, in addition to hosting the documentary series Mail Call and Lock N' Load with R. Lee Ermey.


 Television work

On Mail Call, Ermey discussed weaponry, tactical matters, and military history. Mail Call's subject matter was dictated by viewer emails; one episode may have focused on an M1A1 Battle Tank, while another may have involved World War II secrets, while a third might have been focused on elements of Medieval warfare. The set consisted of a military tent, other military gear and weapons, and Ermey's personal jeep armed with his own 30 cal. M1919 Browning machine gun.

Ermey traveled to Kuwait in June 2003 during the first phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom to film mail distribution by the Defense Department to service personnel for an episode of Mail Call. According to a 2005 episode of Mail Call filmed at Whiteman Air Force Base, he is the 341st person to fly in the B-2 Stealth Bomber.

Ermey guest-starred in the episode "Second Chance" of Human Target.

Ermey also made guest appearances on the hit TV drama House, playing the role of Dr. Gregory House's father, who was a decorated pilot of the USMC ("Birthmarks", "Daddy's Boy"), and the sitcom Scrubs, playing the Janitor's father. He has also voiced Wildcat in several episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold. In an episode of The Simpsons entitled "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming", Ermey voiced Colonel Leslie "Hap" Hapablap.

In the episode of SpongeBob SquarePants,"Inmates of Summer", he voiced an irate warden of a maximum security island prison who demoralized the inmates whenever he could.

In 2009, Ermey hosted a second History Channel show entitled Lock N' Load with R. Lee Ermey, which discussed the developmental history of various weapons used by militaries of today.

In late 2010, Ermey starred in a GEICO commercial as a former-drill-sergeant-turned-therapist who insults a client, in parody of some of his iconic characters. Ermey also was featured each week on ESPN's College GameDay. His role was to insult the experts' incorrect picks from the previous week.

Also in 2010, Ermey guest-starred as a violent sexual offender recently released from prison in the episode "Trophy" on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

In 2011, Ermey starred as a drill instructor on the X-Play special on Bulletstorm.

 Video games
In 1993, R. Lee Ermey played a character named Lyle The Handyman in the full-motion video game Sega CD game Double Switch, a game also starring Corey Haim and Deborah Harry.

Ermey lends his distinctive voice to several video games, including Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel and Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex (as Wa-Wa). He also made a cameo in Real War: Air, Land, Sea, a retail real-time strategy computer game based on the official Joint Chiefs of Staff training game. In the game Fallout 3, there is a recruitable companion named Sergeant RL-3, a modified military robot with a personality very similar to Ermey (the companion's name is a reference to Ermey's initials wherein the 3 is leetspeak for the letter 'e'). In the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm expansion there is a character named "Lieutenant Emry" that speaks some of Ermey's signature lines from Full Metal Jacket.

 Personal Life
Ermey married his wife Nila in 1975. They have four children. In Ermey's television show Lock N' Load with R. Lee Ermey he refers to his wife as "Mrs. Gunny".

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "R. Lee Ermey", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.