When the Academy Awards program Sunday failed to honor some of Hollywood’s notable passings in memoriam, it left a lot of eyebrows raised, and among those reportedly not remembered was character actor R. Lee Ermey, the retired Marine Corps drill instructor who became an icon among firearms owners, and a member of the National Rifle Association’s Board of Directors.
Also notably snubbed were the late Carol Channing, Sondra Locke, Dick Miller, John Mahoney and Verne Troyer, according to Fox News and other published reports.
However, Hollywood did remember Burt Reynolds and actress/director Penny Marshall.
To read some of the reactions to Fox News’ coverage of the snubs, there is not much respect for Hollywood these days.
Recalling one of Ermey’s great lines in the film that made him a star, “Full Metal Jacket,” one Fox reader inquired, “Dear Oscars = ‘What is your major malfunction’?” Ermey played the tougher-than-nails Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in that film, and also appeared in “Mississippi Burning,” “The Boys in Company C,” “Sommersby,” “Man of the House,” “On Deadly Ground,” “The Siege of Firebase Gloria,” and several other films. His debut came in a brief appearance as a helicopter pilot in “Apocalypse Now.” He also hosted a couple of television series, “Mail Call” and “Lock n’ Load with R. Lee Ermey.” He also was a voice actor for animated films
Another reader response to the Fox report observed, “R. Lee Ermey is looking down smiling because he wasn’t on their Liberal list…RIP.”
Originally elected to the NRA Board in 2011, Ermey was still a member when he passed away last April from complications from pneumonia. He was 74. Burial was at Arlington National Cemetery.
Of all the ironies about Hollywood, none can be greater than the number of actors who appear or have appeared in “action” films over the years, yet support stricter gun laws. It may have driven some Hollywood elitists nuts to see Ermey’s programs on the History Channel in which he not only discussed military weapons but fired quite a few of them over the years. He was also a celebrity spokesman for Glock and his appearances at SHOT and the NRA convention always attracted long lines of admirers who would wait sometimes for an hour or more to spend a few minutes chatting with “The Gunny” and get an autographed poster.
In a brief conversation with Ermey a few years ago at the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show, the actor noted that he felt a responsibility to attend NRA Directors’ meetings because he had been elected to serve. Other personalities have been NRA directors, including the late Charlton Heston, who also attended the board meetings, especially during his extended tenure as NRA president, unless he had other commitments.
Another snub that is getting considerable attention was of actress Channing, whose decades in the industry included an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
Locke, who was a longtime co-star on and off-screen to Clint Eastwood—appearing in both of his comedies, “Every Which Way But Loose” and “Any Which Way You Can”—was also inexplicably ignored.