Harold RamisActor / Filmmaker
Born: 21 November 1944
Died: 24 February 2014
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Best known as: The director of Groundhog Day
Harold Ramis was a comedy screenwriter, director and actor, known best for the movies Caddyshack (1980), Ghostbusters (1984) and Groundhog Day (1993). He got his professional start in his hometown of Chicago, after graduating in 1966 from Washington University in St. Louis. A member of the Second City improvisational group, he followed John Belushi to New York in 1974 to work on The National Lampoon Radio Hour. Ramis then spent nearly three years as a writer for the television comedy SCTV (1976-79), and co-wrote the box office smash National Lampoon's Animal House (1978). He had continued success in the 1980s, directing Caddyshack (1980) and National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), and co-writing and appearing in Stripes (1981) and Ghostbusters (1984). On screen and behind the camera Ramis had a reputation for calm intelligence sparked by anarchical wit; although not known for flashy camera work, his movies were hits and influenced a generation of comedy filmmakers. His masterpiece, critics say, is 1993's Groundhog Day, one of six films he made with Bill Murray (and the one that ended their friendship, according to gossip). Ramis's other films include Analyze This (1999, starring Robert De Niro), Analyze That (2002, starring Billy Crystal) and Year One (2009, starring Jack Black).
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