R Lee Ermey 
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R Lee Ermey

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Ermey was cast in his first film while attending the University of Manila in the Philippines, using his G. I. Bill benefits. He first played a First Air Cavalry chopper pilot in Apocalypse Now, doubling as a technical advisor to director Francis Ford Coppola. Ermey then was cast as a Marine Drill Instructor in Sidney Fury's "Boys In Company C. " For the next few years, Ermey played a series of minor film roles until 1987[citation needed] when he was cast as austere drill instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. Initially he was intended to be only the technical advisor. Kubrick changed his mind after Ermey put together an instructional tape, in which he went on an extended tirade towards several extras, convincing Kubrick he was the right man for the role. Seeking absolute military authenticity for the film, Kubrick allowed Ermey to write or edit his own dialogue and improvise on the set, a notable rarity in a Kubrick film. Kubrick later indicated that Ermey was an excellent performer, often needing just two or three takes per scene, also unusual for a Kubrick film. Ermey's performance won critical raves and he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award as Best Supporting Actor. He later played a drill instructor in the pilot episode of Space: Above and Beyond and ghost of a drill instructor in the film The Frighteners, both similar to his character in Full Metal Jacket.

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