Ronald Lee Ermey is a beloved Hollywood actor who made a career for himself playing no-nonsense military men. He was such a beloved actor that he was credited with over 124 roles in video games, television shows, and movies!
Lee was born on March 24, 1944 in Emporia, Kansas. He grew up on a small farm outside of Kansas City, Kansas, with his five brothers. At the age of 14, his family moved to Zillah, Washington where he began to get in quite a lot of trouble.
When he was 17 years old, he was arrested for the second time on a charge of criminal mischief. The judge gave him an ultimatum then that would change the fate of his life forever. Lee was left with two choices, to go to jail or join the United States Military. He chose the military.
1961, he enlisted with the United States Marine Corps, where he first served in the aviation support field. He then went on to become a drill instructor, and then served in aviation ground support in Okinawa. In 1968, he went overseas to serve in Vietnam where he remained for 14 months.
Lee spent the remainder of his military career in Okinawa, where he advanced to the rank of Staff Sergeant. In 1972, he was medically discharged from the Marines as a result of injuries he had suffered. On May 17, 2002, he was given an honorary promotion to gunnery sergeant.
His career in film began when he was using his G.I. Bill benefits to attend the University of Mila in the Philippines. He quickly began to rise to stardom as he earned a solid reputation as an actor who knew what he was doing.
Lee was a prolific actor, but some of the pieces he was most known for include his roles in Se7en, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Mississippi Burning. However, the role he was best known for was his portrayal of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in 1987’s Full Metal Jacket.
He earned a nomination for the 1988 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for his role in Full Metal Jacket. Overall, he received a total of 2 awards and 4 nominations for his wonderful work.
Lee married his beloved wife Nila Ermey in 1975, and the two remained together until his death. Together, they had four children whom they adored.
He will be sorely missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him, and even more so by those who were lucky enough to love him. Please pray for his family as they face this difficult loss.
This is a horrible story, and we know that sometimes we need a reminder of the good in the world at a time like this, so be sure to check out the video below!