Daily Commentary – Friday, February 28, 2014 – Harold Ramis, Comedy Director and Actor, Dies at Age 69
- Often remembered for Ghostbusters and Ground Hog Day, Ramis dies from vasculitis. He will be missed. R.I.P.
Harold Ramis, Actor, Writer & Director Best-known for ‘Ghostbusters’, ‘Stripes’ and ‘Caddyshack’ is Dead at Age 69 … Rest in Peace
It is truly a sad day, one of my favorite actors, writers and directors of all times has passed away … Dr. Egon Spengler, Moe Green, Russell Ziskey … Rest in Peace.
Harold Ramis passed away on Monday, February 24, 2014 surrounded by family in his North Shore Chicago home at 12:53 AM. Ramis, best known for his acting, writing and directing roles in such comedy classics as ‘Ghost Busters’, ‘Stripes’, and ‘Caddyshack’, died from complications from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels. Tragically, he was only 69. Long before Ramis became a household name in the movie ‘Stripes’ and ‘Ghostbusters’, Harold Ramis was fantastic on SCTV. I think I just dated myself. For those who think SNL was funny and cutting edge, SCTV had it beat by a mile. Not familiar with SCTV, it is the show that launched the comedic genius and careers of John Candy, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Rick Moranis, Joe Flaherty, Dave Thomas and of course, the late Harold Ramis.
I can honestly say, the world will be a little less funny without him … Harold Ramis, Rest in Peace.
Harold Ramis (Moe Green) provides a PSA on warning signs of death … “So You’re Dead; Now What?”
Ramis’ serious health struggles began in May 2010 with an infection that led to complications related to the autoimmune disease, his wife said. Ramis had to relearn to walk but suffered a relapse of the vasculitis in late 2011, said Laurel Ward, vice president of development at Ramis’ Ocean Pictures production company.
Harold Ramis not only may be the most successful comedy writer-director that Chicago has produced, but some wouldn’t even confine that statement to Chicago.
“Harold was clearly the most successful comedy writer-director of all time,” said Tim Kazurinsky, who followed Ramis at Second City and later became his friend. “The number of films that he has made that were successful, that were blockbusters, nobody comes close. Even in light in of that, he was more successful as a human being.”
Ramis’ career was still thriving in 1996, with “Groundhog Day” acquiring almost instant classic status upon its 1993 release and 1984′s “Ghostbusters” ranking among the highest-grossing comedies of all time, when he decided to move his family back to the Chicago area, where he grew up and had launched his career.
Ramis died Monday morning in his Chicago-area home, the agency said.
For more than 40 years, Ramis was a leading figure in comedy. A veteran of the Second City troupe in his hometown of Chicago, he was a writer for “SCTV” and wrote or co-wrote the scripts for “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (1978), “Caddyshack” (1980), “Stripes” (1981), “Ghostbusters” (1984), “Groundhog Day” (1993) and “Analyze This” (1999).
The films often featured members of his generation of comedy talents — veterans of the National Lampoon’s recordings, “Saturday Night Live” and “Second City TV” — most notably Ramis’ old comedy colleague and fellow Chicagoan Bill Murray.
“Harold Ramis and I together did ‘The National Lampoon Show’ off-Broadway, ‘Meatballs,’ ‘Stripes,’ ‘Caddyshack,’ ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Groundhog Day.’ He earned his keep on this planet,” said Murray in a statement. “God bless him.”
Harold Ramis was a man before his time as he proclaimed in the 1984 movie classic, Ghostbusters … “Print is Dead”.
On a personal note, what makes some one like Harold Ramis so brilliant a writer, director and actor is his works are timeless. There are no more movies that are quoted by people in everyday life than Animal House, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Stripes, Groundhog Day and Back to School and “that’s the fact Jack”.
Tell ‘em about the Twinkie
Dr. Egon Spengler: Well, let’s say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in the New York area. Based on this morning’s sample, it would be a Twinkie… thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds.
Another Hollywood and Broadway icon has passed away … Ben Gazzara, Rest in Peace.
Ben Gazzara, best known for his collaborations with director John Cassavetes, has died at the age of 81 from pancreatic cancer. As reported by NBC, Gazzara fittingly died the same day that Cassavetes did more than twenty years ago. Gazzara had a 60 year acting career on statge, film and TV. The veteran actor appeared in more than 100 film and TV movies. Gazzara is survived by his third wife Elke Stuckmann, their daughter, and an adopted daughter as well as Gazarra’s brother, Anthony.
Ben Gazzara in “The Killing of a Chinese Bookie.”
Ben Gazzara: 1930 – 2012 … Rest in Peace
From the NY Times:
Ben Gazzara, an intense actor whose long career included playing Brick in the original “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” on Broadway, roles in influential films by John Cassavetes and work with several generations of top Hollywood directors, died on Friday in Manhattan. He was 81.
The cause was pancreatic cancer, his lawyer, Jay Julien, said. Mr. Gazzara lived in Manhattan.
Mr. Gazzara studied with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in Manhattan, where the careers of stars like Marlon Brando and Rod Steiger were shaped, and like them he had a visceral presence. It earned him regular work across half a century, not only onstage — his last Broadway appearance was in the revival of “Awake and Sing!” in 2006 — but in dozens of movies and all sorts of television shows, including the starring role in the 1960s series “Run for Your Life.”
How could the New York Times not mentioned ‘Road House’ with Patrick Swayze in their list of movie appearances?
IMBb – Ben Gazzara’s film career.
Great obit at the LA Times.