Gone But Not Forgotten. On this day, four years ago, Comedy Legend Harold Ramis passed away at age of 69

Don’t cross the steams.

It is hard to imagine that it has been four years since the comedy legend Harold Ramis passed away. Four years seem like an eternity to me. And today, I thought it would be the right time to commemorate such a giant and to pay him a tribute. Hollywood really lost a gem.

Harold-Ramis-in-his-Ghostbusters-costume-with-his-daughter-Violet-Ramis
Harlod Ramis accompanied by his daughter Violet Ramis during the shooting of Ghostbusters.

Harold Ramis, for those, who don’t know him, was an actor, writer and director of many comedy movies in the 70s, 80s and 2000s. To me, he is best known for playing the role of Egon Spengler is the successful Ghostbusters franchise. However, Ramis’s filmography is a huge encyclopedia. But before coming to prominence in the 80s with Ghostbusters, co-written back then with his long time collaborator Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis wrote National Lampoon’s Animal House. Next up, he crossed the path with Bill Murray and together starred in Meatballs.The movie was a commercial success and became the first of six film collaborations between Murray and Ramis.

His third film and his directorial debut was Caddyshack, which he wrote with Kenney and Brian Doyle-Murray. It starred Chevy ChaseRodney DangerfieldTed Knight, and Bill Murray. Like Ramis’s previous two films, Caddyshack was a commercial success.

As I mentioned above, Ramis collaborated with Dan Ackroyd in what would become the biggest hit ever of summer 1984. Ghostbusters became a sensational hit that would spawn a sequel five years later,  cartoons and many related merchandises.

Illness and death

In May 2010, Ramis contracted an infection that resulted in complications from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis and lost the ability to walk. After relearning to walk he suffered a relapse of the disease in late 2011.

He died of complications of the disease on February 24, 2014 at his home on Chicago’s North Shore at age of 69 He is buried at Shalom Memorial Park in Arlington Heights.

Here is a statement I released four years ago today on Facebook upon hearing Ramis’s death :

Tonight, I deeply saddened by a news that came down like a sledgehammer. The actor Harold Ramis passed away. He marked my childhood forever as I first saw him in Ghostbusters at age of 7. (c. 1992) I loved his character of Igon Spengler. That intelectual techno wizard from the movie, sidekicking Second City alums Dan Ackroyd and Bill Murray in one of the most successful movie of 1984. What’s left now ? An icredible imprint of comedy, influencing générations. Yes, Ed Neumeier, he will be deeply missed. May his spirit be a source of joy and happiness forever.

Don’t cross the steams. You are deeply missed Egon!

Sofiane MEROUANI