Harold Allen Ramis was an American actor, comedian, director, and writer. He's a frequent director on The Office. He is best known for directing Caddyshack and Groundhog Day and for his appearances in Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters 2, and Stripes.


"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, and . By 1976, he was head writer and a regular performer on the top Canadian comedy series (1976). His Hollywood debut came when he collaborated on the script for National Lampoon's (1978) which was produced by . After that, he worked as writer with Ivan as producer on (1979), (1981), (1984) and (1989) and acted in the latter three. Harold Ramis died on February 24, 2014 at age 69 from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis," (IMDb)


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 (1962).

Attended and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri (1966). He later received an honorary degree (Doctor of Arts) from the university (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 , and on "The National Lampoon Show" but, unlike the others, was not asked by to join (1975). Harold went to (1976) instead.

Sketch comedian best known for his character Moe Green on (1976).

Had three children: daughter (born in 1977), with ex-wife, and sons Julian Arthur Ramis (born on May 10, 1990) and (Daniel Hayes Ramis) (born on August 10, 1994), with wife .

The proton packs worn in (1984) were much heavier than they looked, and some were heavier than others depending on what a scene demanded while filming. According to director, 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 (1968). Attempted graduated school for a week, which did not pan out.

When he was doing his audition for The Second City, it was him performing a sketch to a full house.

Best remembered by fans of all ages as Dr. Egon Spengler in (1984) and (1989).

Said in an interview that his working relationship with actor ended while filming (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: (1984) at #28, (1993) at #34, (1978) at #36 and (1980) at #71. (1979), (1981) and (1986) were also nominated, but did not make the list.

Had appeared with in four films: (1981), (1984), (1989) and (1993).

His paternal grandparents were Ukrainian Jewish immigrants and his maternal grandparents were Polish Jews.

Following his death, he was interred at Shalom Memorial Park in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

He was awarded a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame in St. Louis, Illinois on May 16, 2004.

After not speaking to each other for a number of years, reportedly visited Ramis before his death and they both made their peace with each other.

The Writers Guild of America posthumously honored him with their lifetime achievement award, the Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement (2015).

Two years after his death, The Second City founded the Harold Ramis Film School in his honor, the first film school to focus solely on film comedy (2016)(IMDb)

Personal Quotes

[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 [] knew it, Brando [] knew it.

At first, I would get mail saying, 'Oh, you must be a Christian because the movie [ (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 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 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 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 and in (1986)] I'd say, "Robin, could you play that scene faster?" And he would 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. kind of appointed himself my director. He would tell me stuff like "Open your eyes real big". (IMDb)

Episodes directed

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