Actor, writer, and director Harold Ramis passed away today after a lengthy battle of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis. He was 69.
The Chicago native cut his comedic chops with Second City and the National Lampoon Radio Hour. Later, he became head writer and a performer on SCTV. Ramis would co-write National Lampoon’s Animal House starring John Belushi and would also co-write Meatballs starring Bill Murray. Ramis and Murray would work together in five additional films — Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II and Groundhog Day. Of these films, Ramis directed Caddyshack and Groundhog Day. Ramis also directed National Lampoon’s Vacation starring Chevy Chase as well as both Analyze This and Analyze That starring Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal. In recent years, Ramis appeared in films such as As Good As It Gets and Knocked Up.
Here is an interview Ramis did back in 1988 for TV station in St. Louis shortly before he was to be honored by Washington University of which he was an alumnus. Ramis reveals that Animal House was nearly shot at Washington University until the administrators thought better of it. Animal House was shot at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
Well, Harold Ramis has experienced the seven signs of death. So now what? All I can say is the world is a little less funny today.