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Awww, man! Harold Ramis died. Now who ya gonna call?

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  • Awww, man! Harold Ramis died. Now who ya gonna call?



    Harold Ramis was one of Hollywood’s most successful comedy filmmakers when he moved his family from Los Angeles back to the Chicago area in 1996. His career was still thriving, 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, but the writer-director wanted to return to the city where he’d launched his career as a Second City performer.

    "There's a pride in what I do that other people share because I'm local, which in L.A. is meaningless; no one's local," Ramis said upon the launch of the first movie he directed after his move, the 1999 mobster-in-therapy comedy "Analyze This," another hit. "It's a good thing. I feel like I represent the city in a certain way."

    Ramis, a longtime North Shore resident, was surrounded by family when he died at 12:53 a.m. from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels, his wife Erica Mann Ramis said. He was 69.

    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 vaculitis in late 2011, said Laurel Ward, vice president of development at Ramis' Ocean Pictures production company.

    Ramis leaves behind a formidable body of work, with writing credits on such enduring comedies as "National Lampoon's Animal House" (which upon its 1978 release catapulted the film career of John Belushi, with whom Ramis acted at Second City), "Stripes" (1981) and "Ghostbusters" (in which Ramis also co-starred) plus such directing efforts as "Caddyshack" (1980), "National Lampoon's Vacation" (1983), "Groundhog Day" and "Analyze This."

    Previously he was the first head writer (and a performer) on Second City's groundbreaking television series "Second City Television (SCTV)" (1976-79). More recently he directed episodes of NBC’s "The Office."
    Man, what a shame. He was definitely one very funny guy.
    It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
    In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
    Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
    Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

  • #2
    I really like the guy's work. What a weird thing to die of - such a loss.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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    • #3
      Wow...relatively young man. Too bad. Lots of talent.
      Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
      Robert Southwell, S.J.

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      • #4
        "Everybody thinks "The Social Network" is the best movie about forming a new startup, but they are wrong. The best movie is "Ghostbusters"."
        May we raise children who love the unloved things - the dandelion, the worm, the spiderlings.
        Children who sense the rose needs the thorn and run into rainswept days the same way they turn towards the sun...
        And when they're grown and someone has to speak for those who have no voice,
        may they draw upon that wilder bond, those days of tending tender things and be the one.

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