THE RYDGES POST
Harold Ramis has died, aged 69. I’m sure a lot of people would have heard the news and reacted with something like, “I think I’ve heard of him…” The reason I say that is because that was almost my reaction – to be specific, “Wasn’t he one of the Ghostbusters?”
Yes, as an actor, he was one of the Ghostbusters (Dr Egon Spengler) – the one who wasn’t quite as famous as Bill Murray or Dan Ackroyd… but he also co-wrote that hugey successful 1984 movie… as well as the sequel (1989). Go back to 1978 and Ramis wrote on a movie called National Lampoon’s Animal House – while a tad gross for the times, it also grossed a small fortune - $141million - previously unheard of for a comedy.
The next screenplay was for Meatballs starring Bill Murray – another success – as was his next one, Caddyshack, also with Bill Murray starring. Ramis also directed Caddyshack and went on to work with Murray in a total of six movies, including Stripes (1981) and Groundhog Day (1993). Murray is also godfather to Ramis’s daughter, Violet. Groundhog Day is one of Hollywood’s best-known and loved comedies. That one was all Ramis - he was writer, director, producer and played the part of the neurologist.
There were many other movies (Multiplicity, Nation Lampoon’s Vacation, Bedazzled, Analyze That etc) and he certainly leaves a fine legacy – to have entertained millions of people by taking them to a funny place for a while. Vale Harold Ramis, and thanks for the beautifully-crafted silliness.