Harold Allen Ramis (November 21, 1944 February 24, 2014) was an American screenwriter, director and actor. He is probably most famous for co-creating the Ghostbusters franchise along with his friends Dan Aykroyd and Ivan Reitman, also starring as Dr. Egon Spengler in the first two films and the 2009 video game.
He began his career as a writer for National Lampoon magazine in the early 1970s and — despite being American — was a cast member and writer on the early seasons of the Canadian sketch series SCTV. What soon followed was a string of comedy hits as he wrote, directed, and/or starred in a wide variety of influential juggernauts such as Caddyshack, Animal House, Meatballs, National Lampoon's Vacation, and Groundhog Day.
Although he was in no doubt a triple threat as a writer, director, and performer, Ramis found that he didn't get much of a thrill out of performing. His acting roles became increasingly sporadic until he decided to focus almost entirely on writing and directing in the 1990s and only making brief cameos.
Ramis' influence on modern comedy is difficult to understate. His work inspired the likes of Judd Apatow, Jack Black, Seth Rogen, Rainn Wilson, Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, and countless others, with Patton Oswalt even saying: "No Harold Ramis, no comedy as we know it today."
He passed away in February 2014 after a long illness at age 69. As a mark of how well-liked he and his work was, tributes poured out from Hollywood's comedy elite who got to work with him across five decades, all of them going 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 ".
- SCTV (197679) (series writer seasons 1-2, cast member season 1)
- Animal House (1978) (co-writer)
- Caddyshack (1980) (directed and co-written by)
- Meatballs (1980) (written by)
- Stripes (1981) (co-writer) - Russell Ziskey
- National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) (directed by)
- Ghostbusters (1984) (co-writer) - Dr. Egon Spengler
- Club Paradise (1986) (directed by)
- Groundhog Day (1993) (directed and co-written by)
- Airheads (1994) - Chris Moore
- Stuart Saves His Family (1995) (directed by)
- Multiplicity (1996) (directed by)
- As Good as It Gets (1997) - Dr. Martin Bettes
- Analyze This (1999) (directed by)
- Bedazzled (2000) (directed and co-written by)
- Analyze That (2002) (directed by)
- Orange County (2002) - Don Durkett
- The Ice Harvest (2005) (directed by)
- Knocked Up (2007) - Harris Stone
- Walk Hard (2007) - L'Chai'm
- Year One (2009) (directed by)
- Copiously Credited Creator: He was a writer, producer, director and actor and usually did most of them all at once.
- Old Shame: He was the executive producer of the film Armed and Dangerous but hated the final cut so much that he had his name taken off the credits.