Harold Ramis, one of the most influential comedy writers and directors of the past 40 years, has passed away at 69. The Chicago born actor reportedly suffered from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitus, a rare disease that causes blood vessels to swell.
Ramis will be remembered for creating some of the most influential comedies of the past 40 years. Ramis' first screenplay, Animal House, catapulted John Belushi to stardom and was inducted into the National Film Registry for preservation in 2001. His other films include Stripes, Ghostbusters (in which he played the iconic nerd Egon), as well as directing Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation, Groundhog Day, and Analyze This.
I will always remember and love Harold Ramis for being the only person to ever get me interested in golf by directing the equally phenomenal Rodney Dangerfield. Likewise, the fact that he co-wrote Ghostbusters with Dan Aykroyd, and co-starred alongside the brilliant Bill Murray will have people making Zuul references for years to come. Because of Harold Ramis, you know who to call in a dicey paranormal situation.
But for me, it's probably Ramis' classic Groundhog Day, which he co-wrote with Danny Rubin and directed, will stand out as his crowning achievement. The idea of a weatherman, played by Bill Murray, forced to relive the same day over and over again simultaneously felt so far out there and so relatable that it stands out as his most cerebral, funny, and downright smart movie that showcases both his supreme talent.
(via Washington Times)