Harold Ramis: A legacy of laughter


Actor, director, and writer Harold Ramis died at the age of 69 on February 24, 2014. Ramis is best known for his work in films that include Ghostbusters, Animal House, Caddyshack, and Stripes. His death was caused by complications related to autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, which he battled for four years according to Ramis’s agent.

For over 40 years Harold Ramis brought laughter and hilarity into countless lives across the world. Many of his films featured his right hand man and one of the all-time great comedians Bill Murray. Bill Murray recently used his Oscar presenter’s role to offer a tribute to Ramis. Murray, after reading off the names of the nominees for best cinematography, said “Oh, we forgot one, Harold Ramis for Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day.

Even President Obama made a tribute to the comic great and fellow Chicago native. In Caddyshack, Bill Murray’s character, Carl Spackler, tells of caddying for the Dalai Lama and trying to get a tip out of him afterward.

“And he says, ‘Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.’ So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice,” Carl says. So Obama said in a statement “Our thoughts and prayers are with Harold’s wife, Erica, his children and grandchildren, and all those who loved him, who quote his work with abandon, and who hope that he received total consciousness.”

Harold Ramis did much more than just make people laugh. He made us root for the underdog, question authority, and identify with outsiders.  Ramis has touched countless fans and even was a mentor for current comedy writer Judd Apatow. Apatow cast Ramis in his film Knocked Up where he played Seth Rogen’s father. Harold Ramis was truly one of the greatest comedians of all time; and we are all truly lucky to have his works to remember him by. Ramis may have died younger than most, but threw his passionate fan base his work will live on forever threw quotes and references to his countless classic movies.