R. Lee Ermey Has Died, You Useless Maggots!

Santa Monica, CA—Actor, green toy soldier and former Marine R. Lee Ermey has died from complications from pneumonia. He was 74.

Ermey served in the US Marines from 1961 until he was medically discharged in 1972. He was stationed in Vietnam from 1968-1969.

R. Lee Ermey

R. Lee Ermey, first row second from right, first met RECOiL writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio, fist row far right, in Marine Corps basic training in San Diego, CA in 1966. The two were close friends. DiMaio would call Ermey “Sergeant” and Ermey would call DiMaio “maggot.” Ermey called everyone “maggot” but DiMaio could tell the way he said it toward him was special.

He got his big break on the big screen as the drill instructor in Stanley Kubrik’s “Full Metal Jacket,” which led to other similar film roles in “The Frighteners,” “Purple Hearts,” “RECOiL” and “Mississippi Burning.”

On television, Ermey appeared in such shows as “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “History Channel’s Lock’N’Load with R. Lee Ermey,” “Scrubs” and “Family Guy.”

He is survived by his wife, Nila, and their four children. 

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