R. Lee Ermey, the former Marine who made a career in Hollywood playing military men like Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, has died at the age of 74.

The news was confirmed by Ermey's longtime manager, Bill Rogin, in a statement posted on the actor's social media pages.

The first post on Ermey's Facebook page on Sunday said the much-loved star had died due to complications from pneumonia.

"It is with deep sadness that I regret to inform you all that R. Lee Ermey ("The Gunny") passed away this morning from complications of pneumonia. He will be greatly missed by all of us," Rogin wrote.

"It is a terrible loss that nobody was prepared for," he added. "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."

The Kanas native was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his memorable performance in Full Metal Jacket, in which he immortalised lines such as: "What is your major malfunction?"

His co-stars Matthew Modine and Vincent D'Onofrio shared their condolences online.

Ermey enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1961 at age 17. He served for 11 years, including 14 months in Vietnam, before he was discharged in 1972.