Writer, actor, and film director Harold Ramis passed away on Monday, February 24. Best know to audiences, perhaps, as ‘Dr. Egon Spengler’ from the ‘Ghostbusters’ films, Ramis’ film and comedy career spanned several decades and produced some of actor Bill Murray’s best comedic work.
From ‘Stripes’ and ‘Caddyshack’ to ‘Ghostbusters’ and the Ramis-directed ‘Groundhog Day,’ Murray and Ramis had developed a comedic “shorthand” and rapport that easily came through and entertained audiences for years.
Ramis and Murray were both alums of the famous Second City comedy troop, which originated in Chicago in the 60’s.
With a dry wit and an intelligent brand of comedy, Ramis’ contributions to adult mainstream comedy will be remembered for years.
My favorite moments came when Ramis and Murray shared screen time, as in ‘Ghostbusters’ and particularly the 80’s comedy ‘Stripes,’ which found the clueless duo enlisting in the U.S. Army.
Here’s a deleted scene from ‘Stripes’ that captures the ease and harmony which the two frequently displayed when collaborating together.
Born in Chicago’s north side to working class shopkeepers, Ramis began writing plays in college at St. Louis and even briefly worked at a mental institution. That experience, Ramis jokingly said, well-prepared him for a career in Hollywood.
“People laugh when I say that, but it was actually very good training.” (Source: The Wrap)
Ramis died peacefully Monday morning due to complications from auto-immune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that causes swelling of the body’s blood vessels.
A quadruple threat talent as an actor, writer, producer, and director one of Ramis’ early successes came as the director and co-writer of one of filmdom’s most quotable movie comedies of all time.
Harold Ramis, you will be missed, sir.