Harold Ramis, one of the larger figures from my youth, has died at the age of 69. He’s famous as an actor for such roles as Egon Spangler in Ghostbusters and as the director of such films as Ghostbusters. His work also includes classic films like Stripes, National Lampoon’s Vacation and many other greats.
Ramis was born in Chicago. His career in comedy began taking off when he started working for Second City Television and began doing joke editing for Playboy (yes, it really is possible to enjoy that magazine for reasons other than the obvious). He then went on to work for National Lampoon, creating the script for what would become National Lampoon’s Animal House. This success led him on to doing Vacation and then onto the wildly-successful Ghostbusters.
Ramis, to quote Wikipedia, “…contracted an infection that resulted in complications from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis.” It was that that eventually killed him.
Ramis hasn’t had a popular or successful movie in a while. His last film, Year One, was hated by audiences and critics alike, and that’s a real shame. But on the plus side, at least we have a great body of his to look back on, and I can think of worse legacies that someone can leave the world than the creation of a character whose primary hobbies include the collecting of various spores, molds and fungi.