Director, writer, and actor Harold Ramis has died at the age of 69. In the landscape of film comedies, Ramis will be remembered as one of the giants. He was the first head writer on Second City Television (SCTV) and then went on to pen classic films Animal House and Ghostbusters. He also wrote and directed the equally beloved Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Groundhog Day (in a world where the Oscars make sense, he won an award for Best Original Screenplay for Groundhog Day). As an actor, he’ll probably be best remembered as the deadpan Dr. Egon Spengler. But these are just some of the snapshots of a career that touched many lives and inspired some of today’s biggest comedy directors including Judd Apatow, Jay Roach, and Peter Farrelly. There’s no way to undersell Ramis’ overall importance to the history of mainstream American comedies.
For more about Ramis’ life, I encourage you to read this moving obituary from the Chicago Tribune. Our deepest condolences go out to Mr. Ramis’ family and friends.