[photo courtesy of nbcdfw.com]
After a four-year battle with autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, Chicago funny man Harold Ramis died on February 24, 2014.
Harold Ramis was an incredibly talented and versatile soul. His 40-year career included wearing the comedic hats of writer, actor, director, and all-round good guy.
Harold wrote (or co-wrote) scripts for some hilarious, iconic films which include: “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (1978), “Caddyshack” (1980), “Stripes” (1981), “Ghostbusters” (1984), “Groundhog Day” (1993), and “Analyze This” (1999). Among the many films he directed, “Caddyshack”, “Groundhog Day”, and, “Analyze This”, stand out as well-known Ramis pictures.
[photo courtesy of paulimondi.com]
[photo courtesy of parentpreviews.com]
[photo courtesy of mediafiremovie-free.blogspot.com]
As an actor, Harold Ramis shone large, but in a background kind of way. I liken it to the details of an ornament in a well-decorated room: you may not notice it as the central piece, but you are most certainly aware of its absence if it disappears. Harold starred in the previously mentioned flicks, “Stripes”, and “Ghostbusters”, just to name a couple from his long-standing repertoire of acting roles.
[photo courtesy of morethings.com]
[photo courtesy of totalfilm.com]
Noteably, Harold Ramis had a strong Canadian connection. From 1976 to 1979, the hysterical and wildly popular television series, “SCTV” (Second City Television) found Harold Ramis at its helm as the original head writer, as well as a performer. ‘Harold the Chicagoan’ worked on SCTV in Toronto with a Canadian crew that included the late John Candy, Dave Thomas, Katherine O’Hara, Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy, and Joe Flaherty.
Harold Ramis in, “SCTV”
[photo courtesy of popwatch.ew.com]
I’ve included a lot of factual information in this post; dates, names, and such. However, what I find most interesting about Harold Ramis was his remarkable and tenacious spirit. He remained an exceptionally humble man, despite his massive success in the film industry. In fact, Harold Ramis felt compelled to move from Los Angeles and head, “back home”, as it were, and lived in the Chicago area since the late ’70s.
This speaks volumes about his character. Despite his voracious appetite for comedy on so many levels, this talented individual recognized that LA was no place to call home if one did not want to risk not only losing one’s sanity, but also to avoid the everyday ‘dog eat dog’ world of competitive movie career advancement. Harold Ramis was a genuinely good soul; however, his talent and zany view of life included a deeper involvement with life’s meaning on a more macro level. As Harold Ramis delved into Zen Buddhism, it appeared to assist him with the ‘bigger picture’ of life’s experiences.
Collectively, we have lost an amazing being who brought so many smiles and chuckles to our senses. Truly, we are grateful for your willingness to share part of yourself with us, Harold Ramis. You will be missed and remembered, one Ghostbusting giggle, Groundhog laughing, and Stripes chuckle at a time.