On February 24 Harold Ramis died in his native Chicago at age 69. As a screenwriter, actor, producer and director Ramis was involved one way or another in many of the funniest film comedies of the last 33 years.
Originally a freelance journalist, Harold Ramis eventually became joke editor at Playboy magazine and soon after part of Chicago's famed Second City improvisational troupe. At one point he served as a deadpan foil to rising star John Belushi. Ramis was a cast member of the syndicated Second City Television from 1976-1979 appearing with among others John Candy and Eugene Levy.
In 1981 Harold Ramis made his film debut in "Stripes" portraying Russell Ziskey, a slacker who finds his niche in the United States Army handling its advance technology. Also a writer on the film, Ramis was at first reluctant to play Ziskey until his costar and friend Bill Murray emphatically refused to do "Stripes" without him. ("Stripes" may be found in Merrick Library's DVD collection).
Ramis and Murray would again team up on the hugely popular "Ghostbusters" movies (Merrick has "Ghostbusters II" among its DVDs). Harold Ramis would make his last movie appearance in the 2009 Stone Age sendup "Year One" which he also wrote, directed and served as co-producer (also among the Merrick DVDs).
In addition to the films cited, Merrick Library has the following
DVDs which feature the talents of Harold Ramis:
Analyze That (director)
Analyze This (director)
The Ice Harvest (director)
Knocked Up (portrayed Ben's Dad)