"You may not know that through the movies he wrote or directed, he made your life better. You’ve been quoting his films and the things he wrote for years... Now, I’m not a comedian, but if I was, as a young bookish man with glasses looking for a role model, I might have picked Harold Ramis. Thank you, Harold."Harold Allen Ramis
(November 21, 1944 – February 24, 2014) was an American screenwriter, director and actor famous for co-creating Ghostbusters
, also starring as Dr. Egon Spengler. Ramis started as a writer for National Lampoon
magazine in the early 1970s. Ramis was one of the most influential comedians of his generation, having written, co-written, directed or starred in a wide variety of influential comedy juggernauts such as Caddyshack
, Animal House
, National Lampoon's Vacation
, and Groundhog Day
. His influence is felt and cited today by the likes of Judd Apatow
, Jack Black
, Seth Rogen
, Rainn Wilson
, Will Ferrell
, Steve Carell
, and countless others.
He passed away in February 2014 after a long illness at age 69. Patton Oswalt
said of Ramis after his death, "No Harold Ramis, no comedy as we know it today."
Harold Ramis was a favorite among Hollywood's comedy elite in the 1980s, '90s, and '00s who all went out of their way to pay tribute to his talent, graciousness, and how much they enjoyed working with him; after his death. Dan Aykroyd
referred to Ramis as a "... brilliant, gifted, funny friend, co-writer/performer and teacher..."
Frequent collaborator and friend Ivan Reitman added, "The world has lost a wonderful, truly original, comedy voice with the passing of Harold Ramis. He possessed the most agile mind I've ever witnessed. He always had the clearest sense of what was funny and how to create something in a new clever way. He was very generous about making everyone around him look better and smarter. Harold had an extraordinary impact on my career and I loved him like a brother. My heart goes out to his children, and his lovely wife, Erica. He will be profoundly missed."