Last Updated: June 20, 2023
Richest Celebrities
Net Worth:
$4 Million
Date of Birth:
Mar 24, 1944 - Apr 15, 2018 (74 years old)
Place of Birth:
5 ft 11 in (1.82 m)
Actor, Voice Actor, Drill instructor, Soldier, Spokesperson
United States of America
💰 Compare R. Lee Ermey's Net Worth

What Was R. Lee Ermey's Net Worth?

R. Lee Ermey was an American actor, producer, and U.S. Marine drill instructor who had a net worth of $4 million at the time of his death in 2018. R. Lee Ermey is most famous for playing Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in the 1987 war drama "Full Metal Jacket," a performance that earned him a Golden Globe nomination.

Ermey had more than 120 acting credits to his name, including the films "Mississippi Burning" (1988), "Toy Soldiers" (1991), "Murder in the First" (1995), "Se7en" (1995), "Dead Man Walking" (1995), "Run Ronnie Run!" (2002), "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (2003), and "The Watch" (2012) and the television series "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." (1993), "Cracker" (1997–1998), and "House" (2005; 2008). He hosted the TV shows "Mail Call" (2002–2009), "Lock n' Load with R. Lee Ermey" (2009), and "GunnyTime with R. Lee Ermey" (2015–2017), and he was an executive producer on "GunnyTime with R. Lee Ermey." He voiced Sarge in the "Toy Story" film franchise (1995–2010) and he also lent his voice to "The Simpsons" (1995; 2015), "All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series" (1998), "Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot" (1999), "Roughnecks: STC" (1999–2000), "Recess: School's Out" (2001), "Family Guy" (2001; 2011), "Kim Possible" (2003), "Shark Bait" (2006), "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" (2009–2011), "Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness" (2012), and several video games. The decorated veteran received military honors such as the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Gallantry Cross, and the National Defense Service Medal. Ermey died on April 15, 2018, at the age of 74 due to complications related to pneumonia.

Early Life

R. Lee Ermey was born Ronald Lee Ermey on March 24, 1944, in Emporia, Kansas. He was the son of Betty Pantle and John Edward Ermey, who passed away in 2005 and 2016, respectively. When Ermey was a child, his family moved to a small farm near Kansas City, and when he was 14, they relocated to Washington, where they lived in a rural home between Granger and Zillah. He grew up with five brothers, and as a teenager, he was a "troublemaker and a bit of a hell-raiser." In 1961, Betty took him to a judge to try to improve the 17-year-old's behavior, and the judge gave Ermey a choice between jail or the military.

Military Career

After enlisting in the United States Marine Corps, Ermey completed recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. He spent a few years in the aviation support field before he became a drill instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego for the India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion in 1965. He then served at Okinawa's Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in the Marine Wing Support Group 17. In 1968, Ermey was sent to South Vietnam, where he stayed for 14 months. He spent the rest of his service in Okinawa and was promoted to Staff Sergeant (E-6) before being medically retired in 1972 due to multiple injuries. In May 2002, he earned an honorary promotion to Gunnery Sergeant (E-7). For his military service, Ermey received a Combat Action Ribbon, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (with two bronze Service stars), National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (with one bronze Campaign star), Marine Corps Drill Instructor Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal as well as a Rifle Marksmanship Badge and Pistol Sharpshooter Badge.

Acting Career

Ermey used his G.I. Bill benefits to attend the University of Manila in the Philippines, and during his time there, he was cast in his first movie, the 1978 war film "The Boys in Company C," as a Marine drill instructor. He was then hired as a technical advisor for Francis Ford Coppola on 1979's "Apocalypse Now," and he had an uncredited role as an Eagle Thrust Seven Helicopter Pilot in the film.

Ermey was also hired as a technical advisor on the 1987 war drama "Full Metal Jacket," and director Stanley Kubrick was so impressed with him that he cast him as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman and let him write or improvise his own dialogue. Ermey earned critical acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination for his performance. He then appeared in the films "Mississippi Burning" (1988), "Fletch Lives" (1989), "The Rift" (1990), "Kid" (1990), "The Terror Within II" (1991), "Toy Soldiers" (1991), "Sommersby" (1993), "Body Snatchers" (1993), "On Deadly Ground" (1994), "Naked Gun 33+1⁄3: The Final Insult" (1994), "Murder in the First" (1995), "Se7en" (1995), "Leaving Las Vegas" (1995), "Dead Man Walking" (1995), "The Frighteners" (1996), "Prefontaine" (1997), "Gunshy" (1998), and "Life" (1999) and the TV movies "The Take" (1990), "83 Hours 'Til Dawn" (1993), "French Silk" (1994), "Kidnapped" (1995), "Soul of the Game" (1996), "Weapons of Mass Distraction" (1997), and "You Know My Name" (1999).

Ermey guest-starred on "Miami Vice" (1987), "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." (1993), "Tales from the Crypt" (1994), and "The X-Files" (1995), and he portrayed Secretary of State John Hay in the 1997 miniseries "Rough Riders." From 1997 to 1998, he played Lieutenant Fry on the ABC crime drama "Cracker," then he appeared in films such as "Jericho" (2000), "Saving Silverman" (2001), "Megiddo: The Omega Code 2" (2001), "Scenes of the Crime" (2001), "Taking Sides" (2001), "Run Ronnie Run!" (2002), "Willard" (2003), "Man of the House" (2005), and "Solstice" (2008). Ermey played the Janitor's father in a 2002 episode of "Scrubs" and the title character's father in two episodes of "House" (2005; 2008), and he starred as Charlie Hewitt / Sheriff Hoyt in 2003's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and 2006's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning." His final film was the 2012 sci-fi comedy "The Watch," and from 2015 to 2017, he hosted "GunnyTime with R. Lee Ermey" on the Outdoor Channel.

R. Lee Ermey

Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Personal Life

Ermey married Dolores Janshen on August 1, 1962, and they had two children before divorcing in 1969. After meeting Marianila Ypon (better known as Nila) in Manila, the two began a relationship. The couple wed in 1975 and welcomed four children, and they remained together until Ermey's death in 2018. In 2011, Ermey co-founded Bravery Brewing, which is located in Lancaster, California, and includes a "Wall of Bravery" featuring "hundreds of photos of service members and pieces of memorabilia that have been brought in by [their] Tasting Room patrons." Politically, Ermey was an Independent, and he voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election. In 2015, he said that he supported Ted Cruz for president, and he later endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Ermey sat on the board of the National Rifle Association, and in 2014, he sparked outrage after he posted photos of himself with dead lions on social media. A spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) addressed the photos, stating, "It takes no courage to stalk and kill animals. Lions are treated as living targets for the arrogant and ignorant with more money that morals. Most people are appalled at someone like this man gunning down animals for a thrill, a trophy or a souvenir photograph."


On April 15, 2018, Ermey passed away from complications related to pneumonia at a Santa Monica hospital at the age of 74. The news was announced on social media by his manager, Bill Rogin, who wrote, "He will be greatly missed by all of us. It is a terrible loss that nobody was prepared for. He has meant so much to so many people. And, it is extremely difficult to truly quantify all of the great things this man has selflessly done for, and on behalf of, our many men and women in uniform. He has also contributed many iconic and indelible characters on film that will live on forever. Gunnery Sergeant Hartman of 'Full Metal Jacket' fame was a hard and principled man. The real R. Lee Ermey was a family man, and a kind and gentle soul. He was generous to everyone around him. And, he especially cared deeply for others in need." Ermey's funeral took place at Arlington National Cemetery in January 2019. According to, "Dozens of Marines from 8th and I Barracks Washington, D.C., were present, serving as pallbearers, a firing party and an honorary platoon. A three-volley salute rang out before 'Taps' was played on the edge of the cemetery, adjacent to the Old Post Chapel at Fort Myer."

Awards and Nominations

In 1998, Ermey earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture and a Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor for "Full Metal Jacket." In 2013, he won a Bronze Telly for Online Video for "Someone Picked the Wrong Girl" at the Telly Awards. Ermey and his "Se7en" co-stars received an Awards Circuit Community Award nomination for Best Cast Ensemble in 1995, and in 2004, he earned a "Fangoria" Chainsaw Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." In 2011, he received a NAVGTR Award nomination for Supporting Performance in a Comedy for "Batman: The Brave and the Bold."

Real Estate

In 1986, Ermey paid $113,500 for a 1,980 square foot home in Palmdale, California. He owned a few nearby condo units in addition to the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home.

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