Starting out as a joke writer for Playboy, Ramis excelled both in front and behind the camera, writing and performing on Canadian show SCTV, before collaborating on National Lampoon’s Animal House with Ivan Reitman. His directorial debut Caddyshack, with Bill Murray, would cement a hugely successful relationship, working together several times, most memorably both starring in the 1984 movie Ghostbusters which remains one of the highest grossing comedy movies ever made.
Ramis left a string of successes in the years that followed, with either writing, directing, acting or producing credits in Analzye This, Year One, Knocked Up, As Good As It Gets and perhaps most notably, Groundhog Day which Ramis wrote for Murray.
He more recently turned to television, directing the US office before complications from a rare blood-vessel disorder, auto-immune inflammatory vasculitis forced him from the limelight.
He died on Monday morning surrounded by family who responded to the news with the following statement; “His creativity, compassion, intelligence, humour and spirit will be missed by all who knew and loved him“.
And despite being estranged for a number of years, Bill Murray, his long time collaborator responded through his lawyer; “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. God bless him.”