Harold Allen Ramis (November 21, 1944 – February 24, 2014) was an actor, director, writer, and comedian. He graduated from Senn High School, in Chicago, IL, in 1962. During his senior year, he was co-editor of the yearbook and a member of the National Honor Society. Other activities in which he participated while at Senn included fencing, mixed chorus, and Key Club. Ramis’s early post-college career included jobs at a mental institution, as a substitute teacher, and as a joke editor for Playboy Magazine. He also started performing with Chicago’s Second City improvisational troupe, and in 1976 he moved on to become head writer (as well as a performer) for the new sketch comedy series SCTV. Ramis progressed to film work a few years later and started off by co-writing National Lampoon’s Animal House, which became one of the most successful comedies of all time. He both wrote and directed Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Groundhog Day (which has been called his “masterpiece”). Ramis worked with Bill Murray on a number of films and became well known as an actor when he appeared in three of them (for which he also co-wrote the scripts): Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, and Stripes. Ramis passed away in 2014 after complications from an illness. A bronze bust of his likeness appears in the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot.
Awards (partial list):
- BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay for Groundhog Day. 1993
- Writers Guild of America Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement. 2015