Golden Globe Best Supporting Actor nominee, and Boston Society of Film Critics Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor in director, Stanley Kubrick's “Full Metal Jacket”, R. Lee Ermey, after more than 25 years in the business, is one of the most successful and talented actors in film and television today, having starred or appeared in over sixty feature films.
His numerous roles in feature film include: “Switchback”, starring opposite Dennis Quaid and Danny Glover, “Dead Man Walking”, “Seven”, “Leaving Las Vegas”, “Murder In The First”, “Life”, “The Frighteners” and “Sommersby” as well as his critically acclaimed role opposite Jared Leto in “Prefontaine”. He continues doing numerous voice-over roles, which span from “The Simpsons” to “Family Guy” to “Toy Story”(1 through 3). Toy Story 3” just became the highest grossing animated film of all time.
Ermey spent eleven years in the Marine Corps, Two of which were spent as being a Drill Instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego,
India Company 3rd Recruit Training Battalion 1965-67, Arrived in Vietnam in 1968 spending 14 months attached to Marine Wing Support Group 17
and 2 tours in Okinawa. He rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant and was medically retired for injuries received.
On May 17, 2002 he received an honorary promotion to Gunnery Sergeant (E-7) by Commandant James L. Jones, becoming the first retiree in the history of the Marines to be promoted.
Medically retired in 1971, he used his G.I. Bill benefits, and enrolled at the University of Manila in the Philippines where he studied drama. Francis Ford Coppola was filming “Apocalypse Now” in the area and cast Ermey in a featured role. He has since gone on to star or appear in approximately sixty films.
Ermey is no stranger to prestigious television either. He has starred in numerous telefilms including HBO's “Weapons of Mass Distraction”, TNT's “The Rough Riders”, and TNT's “You Know My Name”, as well as Showtime's “The Apartment Complex”.
Ermey starred in “Saving Silverman”, with Jason Biggs, Jack Black, Steve Zahn and Amanda Peet. Lee appeared opposite Jeff Bridges in “Scenes of the Crime” and Harvey Keitel in “Taking Sides”. For New Line he starred in the remake of “Willard” with Crispin Glover. And, also for New Line, he starred in the remake of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” as well as the prequel “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning,” where he reprised his infamous character, Sheriff Hoyt. Ermey also hosted his own show for the History Channel, called “Mail Call”, which ran for 8 seasons, and 100 episodes. It focused on military technology past, present and future. His most recent show “Lock N' Load with R. Lee Ermey” on the History Channel, can now be seen on H2 and History International.
R. Lee Ermey has been the spokesperson for Glock for several years. And, he is also currently the spokesperson for Victory Motorcycles, SOG Specialty Knives & Tools, and TRU-SPEC. Previously, he has represented other quality products such as Coors, Nissan, Advanced Auto Parts, Wonderful Pistachios, Dick's Sporting Goods, Cub Cadet Commercial, Medeco, Fritos, Geico, Black Book Online, and WD-40. Ermey continues to be discerning when choosing companies to represent, and now offers his personal registered trademark of approval to well deserving and well earned quality organizations: GUNNY APPROVED.
R. Lee Ermey continues in his long time role as spokesperson for the Young Marines Youth Organization. He makes numerous personal appearances on behalf of law enforcement and the military. And, he has made several trips to the Middle East in support of our troops during our Middle East efforts. Ermey recently appeared in “The Watch,” starring Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, and Jonah Hill.
In late October of 2013, R. Lee Ermey released his new book, Gunny's Rules: How to Get Squared Away Like a Marine, part self-help, part autobiographical, peppered with stories from his interesting life in the Marine Corps and interesting stories of the making of Stanley Kubrick's “Full Metal Jacket”.
On April 15, 2018, R. Lee Ermey ("The Gunny") passed away from complications of pneumonia.