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Prolific voice actor R. Lee Ermey dead at 74

Contributed by
Apr 15, 2018

If you heard a commanding military voice bark from a cartoon character, odds are it was Golden Globe-nominated actor R. Lee Ermey, who died Sunday morning from complications of pneumonia. He was 74.

Ermey’s manager, Bill Rogin, announced the news on Ermey’s official Twitter account:

The real-life military veteran was routinely cast in roles reflecting his experience as a U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant and honorary gunnery sergeant. While the most famous example of this was in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, Ermey took a good-humored approach to his persona by frequently stretching it to its limits in animation.

Most notably providing the voice for all the plastic Army Men in the Toy Story films, Ermey found his niche bringing cartoons with military ranks to life in The Simpsons, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, My Life as a Teenage Robot, Kim Possible, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Invader ZIM, Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, The Angry Beavers, and more. He also gave Batman a villain as Wildcat in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold TV series. The actor’s brusque delivery was potent in both its crisp diction and overwhelming volume, which made his live-action roles just as commanding.

Appearing in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and Se7en, he brought charisma to law enforcement roles in movies dead-set against them. Most recently, the actor had begun moving into video game work, providing a pack of downloadable voice work for Call of Duty: Ghosts that encapsulated his filmography’s lasting legacy of drill sergeant intimidation.