Harold Allen Ramis (November 21, 1944 February 24, 2014) was an American screenwriter, director and actor famous for co-creating the Ghostbusters franchise, also starring as Dr. Egon Spengler in the first two films of it. Ramis started as a writer for National Lampoon magazine in the early 1970s and was a cast member and writer for the early episodes of the Canadian-American sketch series SCTV. 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, Meatballs, National Lampoon's Vacation, Ghostbusters, 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."
- 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.
- Deadpan Snarker: One of the modern masters of the art.
- 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.
- Straight Man: Often played this, usually paired with Bill Murray's Wise Guy.