Comedy legend Harold Ramis dies

Feb 25, 2014 by Ian Evans

If you loved a comedy film or TV show in the last few decades, chances are that if Harold Ramis didn’t work on it, he probably inspired the people that did.

The multi-hyphenate director-writer-actor died at the age of 69 after suffering from autoimmune inflammatory vasculiti, which leads to a swelling of the blood vessels.

Born in Chicago, Ramis edited the jokes section for Playboy and started taking classes and performing with the Chicago arm of Second City. Ramis was one of several Second City alum, including John Belushi and Bill Murray, that worked on The National Lampoon Radio Hour. He then headed north to Canada, where he joined Joe Flaherty, Dave Thomas and Catherine O’Hara on the sketch show SCTV. He stayed on the show from 1976 to 1979.

Ramis always believed in being open to collaboration and his filmography shows that. He worked with director Ivan Reitman on Meatballs, Stripes, Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. He teamed with Bill Murray on Meatballs, Caddyshack, Stripes, both Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day.

In three areas, he made his mark in comedy. He wrote or co-wrote Year One, Analyze That, Analyze This, Groundhog Day, Ghostbusters II, Ghostbusters, Club Paradise, Back to School, Stripes, Caddyshack, Meatballs, Animal House and numerous sketches on SCTV. He directed films like Year One, The Ice Harvest, Analyze That, Bedazzled, Analyze This, Groundhog Day, National Lampoon’s Vacation and Caddyshack. And he brought his intelligent, charming and authority-challenging persona to roles in Year One, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Knocked Up, As Good as It Gets, Groundhog Day, Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II and SCTV.

He’ll be sorely missed.