R. Lee Ermey, Obscene Drill Instructor in ‘Full Metal Jacket,’ Dies at 74
Ronald Lee Ermey was born on March 24, 1944, in Emporia, Kan., and moved to Washington State at age 11. He enlisted in the Marines immediately after graduating from high school and intended to spend decades in the military. Much of the torrent of vicious language he unleashed in “Full Metal Jacket” was recalled from his days in boot camp and his 30 months as a Marine Corps drill instructor during the Vietnam War. The clever, if obscene, tirades were of his own invention, Mr. Ermey told The New York Times in 1987. “It was terrifying to those actors,” he said of the invective he spewed.