- NAME: Harold Ramis
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Director, Producer, Screenwriter
- BIRTH DATE: November 21, 1944
- DEATH DATE: February 24, 2014
- Did You Know?: Harold Ramis once worked as a substitute teacher.
- EDUCATION: Washington University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Chicago, Illinois
- Full Name: Harold Allen Ramis
- AKA: Harold Ramis
Best Known For
Harold Ramis is best known for creating and starring in several comedies of the 1970s and '80s, including Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day and Knocked Up.
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Ramis went on to write or co-write a number of other comedic screenplays, including Back to School (1986), starring Rodney Dangerfield; Club Paradise (1986), starring Robin Williams; and Armed and Dangerous (1986), starring John Candy and Eugene Levy. While Back to School had some commercial success,
both Club Paradise (which Ramis also directed) and Armed and Dangerous were box-office disappointments.
Maturing as a writer and director in the '90s, Ramis created the more sophisticated comedy Groundhog Day, released in 1993. The film starred Bill Murray as a weather reporter sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the city's Groundhog Day festivities, who ends up forced to relive that day over and over again. Along for the ride are his producer (played by Andy McDowell) and cameraman (Chris Elliott). While very humorous, the film also presents an intriguing, dramatic transformation of Murray's character.
As a director, Ramis tackled more comedies in the late '90s with mixed results. Both Stuart Saves His Family (1995) and Multiplicity (1996) were critical and commercial duds, but he went on to direct and co-write the screenplay for Analyze This (1999), a smart comedy about a gangster (Robert De Niro) and his psychiatrist (Billy Crystal). He later directed and co-wrote the screenplay for the film's 2002 sequel, Analyze That.
Ramis continued to act, write and direct for a variety of projects in his later years. In 2007, he appeared as the father of Seth Rogen's character in the comedy smash Knocked Up and had a small role in the musical biopic spoof Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, starring John C. Reilly. He then served as director and co-writer of the ancient world comedy Year One (2009), starring Jack Black and Michael Cera. Ramis also had a small role in the film.
Ramis died on February 24, 2014. He was 69 years old. He was survived by wife Erica Mann (m. 1989); their two sons, Julian and Daniel; and his daughter, Violet, from his first marriage to Anne Plotkin; and two grandchildren.
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