I was saddened, last week, to hear of the passing of actor, writer and director Harold Ramis.
Ramis was, of course, best known on-screen as the straight laced Dr Egon Spengler in the Ghostbusters movies (a role he reprised in a 2009 video game), but his career behind the scenes resulted in a slew of other comedy hits; most of which have become regarded as classics.
Whether in the director’s chair or as co-writer, he was responsible for the John Belushi college satire ‘National Lampoon’s Animal House’, the Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal hit ‘Analyze This’ and its sequel ‘Analyze That’, ‘Ghostbusters’ as well as its sequel ‘Ghostbusters 2’, ‘Caddyshack’, ‘Stripes’ and ‘Groundhog Day’; a veritable roll call of comedy excellence.
Moving tributes have come from his co-workers, including his fellow Ghostbusters Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray, and celebrity fans like Barack Obama. An emotional Murray gave another classy tribute to Ramis at Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony, including his name among those nominated for Best Cinematography.
Ramis’ death at age 69 following a lengthy illness is a sad blow to the filmmaking world. To reflect on his career, is to laugh. I can think of no finer epitaph.