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Harold Ramis Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (21) | Personal Quotes (13)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 21 November 1944Chicago, Illinois, USA
Date of Death 24 February 2014Chicago, Illinois, USA  (complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis)
Birth NameHarold Allen Ramis
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born on November 21, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois, Harold Allen Ramis got his start in comedy as Playboy magazine's joke editor and reviewer. In 1969, he joined Chicago's Second City's Improvisational Theatre Troupe before moving to New York to help write and perform in "The National Lampoon Show" with other Second City graduates including John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray. By 1976, he was head writer and a regular performer on the top Canadian comedy series SCTV (1976). His Hollywood debut came when he collaborated on the script for National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) which was produced by Ivan Reitman. After that, he worked as writer with Ivan as producer on Meatballs (1979), Stripes (1981), Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989) and acted in the latter three. Harold Ramis died on February 24, 2014 at age 69 from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: tonyman5

Spouse (2)

Erica Mann (7 May 1989 - 24 February 2014) (his death) (2 children)
Anne Ramis (2 July 1967 - 27 March 1984) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (2)

Frequently casts himself in small roles
Frequently casts fellow Second City alumnus Bill Murray

Trivia (21)

Was a member of the Board of National Neurofibromatosis Foundation.
Was a member of the Board of Trustees of Washington University.
Attended and graduated from Nicholas Senn High School in Chicago, Illinois in 1962.
Attended and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in 1966. He later received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the university in 1993.
Was a former active member of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Once a mental ward orderly before finding work as a joke writer for Playboy magazine.
Teamed with John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray on "The National Lampoon Show" but, unlike the others, was not asked by Lorne Michaels to join Saturday Night Live (1975). Harold went to SCTV (1976) instead.
Sketch comedian best known for his character Moe Green on SCTV (1976).
Had three children: daughter Violet Ramis (born in 1977), with ex-wife Anne Ramis, and sons Julian Arthur Ramis (born on May 10, 1990) and Daniel Ramis (Daniel Hayes Ramis) (born on August 10, 1994), with wife Erica Mann.
Tried graduate school for a week, but it did not pan out.
The proton packs worn in Ghostbusters (1984) were much heavier than they looked, and some were heavier than others depending on what a scene demanded while filming. According to director Ivan Reitman, none of the actors enjoyed wearing the packs, but Harold complained the least (Reitman would not say which actor complained the most).
Once worked at a public school in Chicago, Illinois in 1968.
When he was doing his audition for Second City, it was him performing a sketch to a full house.
Best remembered by fans of all ages as Dr. Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989).
Said in an interview that his working relationship with actor Bill Murray ended while filming Groundhog Day (1993) due to differing views on what the film should be about (Murray wanted it to be more philosophical, Ramis wanted it to be a comedy). Ramis also cites that Murray's real life personal problems at the time (specifically the ending of his first marriage) was having a ripple effect on his behavior at work as another factor in the unfortunate ending of their working relationship.
Wrote four of the American Film Institute's 100 Funniest Movies: Ghostbusters (1984) at #28, Groundhog Day (1993) at #34, Animal House (1978) at #36 and Caddyshack (1980) at #71. Meatballs (1979), Stripes (1981) and Back to School (1986) were also nominated, but did not make the list.
Had appeared with Bill Murray in four films: Stripes (1981), Ghostbusters (1984), Ghostbusters II (1989) and Groundhog Day (1993).
His paternal grandparents were Ukrainian Jewish immigrants and his maternal grandparents were Polish Jews.
Lived on the north side of Chicago, Illinois until his death.
He was awarded a Star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame on May 16, 2004.
After not speaking to each other for a number of years, Bill Murray, reportedly visited Ramis before his death and they both made their peace with each other.

Personal Quotes (13)

[During the 20-year Ghostbusters reunion commentary on the Ghostbusters DVD] Acting is all about big hair and funny props... All the great actors knew it. Olivier [Laurence Olivier] knew it, Brando [Marlon Brando] knew it.
At first, I would get mail saying, 'Oh, you must be a Christian because the movie [Groundhog Day (1993)] so beautifully expresses Christian belief'. Then, rabbis started calling from all over, saying they were preaching the film as their next sermon. And the Buddhists! Well, I knew they loved it because my mother-in-law has lived in a Buddhist meditation centre for 30 years and my wife lived there for five years. - remarks to the New York Times on the ecumenical popularity of Groundhog Day (1993).
[on whether he and Bill Murray would consider doing a third Ghostbusters movie] My attitude is generally like Bill's old attitude -- there's no point unless it has some interesting quality or something to say about the subject. Personally, I don't rule it out. I'm skeptical, but maybe it'll work.
Everything we see has some hidden message. A lot of awful messages are coming in under the radar - subliminal consumer messages, all kinds of politically incorrect messages...
Chicago still remains a Mecca of the Midwest - people from both coasts are kind of amazed how good life is in Chicago, and what a good culture we've got. You can have a pretty wonderful artistic life and never leave Chicago.
I'm at my best when I'm working with really talented people, and I'm there to gently suggest or guide or inspire or contribute whatever I can to their effort. It's not like I'm gonna tell Robert De Niro how to act - but I could provide him with useful anecdotal material from my own life or other people I've known, or actual psychological information, or insights into his character. The technique's up to him. But, there are ways to gently urge an actor to pick up the pace or slow it down or focus more, to go bigger or smaller. Some actors are very open right at the beginning - they say, "You only need four words with me: Bigger, smaller, faster, slower.".
Well, I never made big films to make big films; the scale's been appropriate to the content.
Well, for me, it's the relationship between comedy and life - that's the edge I live on, and maybe it's my protection against looking at the tragedy of it all. It's seeing life in balance. Comedy and tragedy co-exist. You can't have one without the other. I'm of the school that anything can be funny, if seen from a comedic point of view.
[on the death of his friend Douglas Kenney in 1980] Doug probably fell while he was looking for a place to jump.
It's hard for winners to do comedy. Comedy is inherently subversive. We represent the underdog as comedy usually speaks for the lower classes. We attack the winners.
The best comedy touches something that's timeless and universal in people. When it's right, those things last.
[on directing Robin Williams and Eugene Levy in Club Paradise (1986)] I'd say, "Robin, could you play that scene faster?" And he'd say, "Faster isn't a direction." So I'd say, "Your character is feeling a sense of urgency right now." By contrast, I went to Gene and said, "You did that scene in a minute-twenty. Could you do it in a minute?". And he said, "Sure".
At SCTV, we were virtually self-directed. Whoever wrote the piece pretty much determined how the piece was going to play. We directed each other. Joe Flaherty kind of appointed himself my director. He'd tell me stuff like, "Open your eyes real big.".

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