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, 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.
Amazingly enough Stuart Freeborn did his own makeup for his open casket wake.
Stuart Freeborn, the movie makeup artist famous for designing Yoda and Chewbacca in the “Star Wars” films, died. He was 98.
“Star Wars” director/franchise destroyer George Lucas said in a statement that Freeborn was “already a makeup legend” when Lucas convinced him to work on “Star Wars.” Shortly after releasing a statement about Freeborn, Lucas amended the statement adding Hayden Christensen for no apparent reason.
Michelle Freeborn, Freeborn’s granddaughter, confirmed his death Tuesday in London from natural causes.
Freeborn began his career in the 1930s, and served in the Royal Air Force service during World War II.
After the war, he returned to work in the British cinema and gained a name for himself thanks to his makeup work on “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp” and “Oliver Twist,” before going on to work with Stanley Kubrik turning Peter Sellers into multiple characters for “Doctor Strangelove.” He again worked with Kubrik on “2001: A Space Odyssey,” where he designed the ape costumes at the beginning of the film.