A pure comic genius. And unfailingly kind.
These are descriptions most often adorned actor/director/producer/screenwriting legend Harold Ramis, who died Monday morning at age 69, but who left the world with a score of some of the most beloved, memorable and highest grossing comedies of all time, including Animal House, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Caddyshack, Stripes, Groundhog Day and the explosive blockbuster Ghostbusters.
Ramis’ unexpected passing incited massive grieve from the Hollywood community, which poured onto social media. Read below for statements and tweets from his famous fans, ranging from Parks and Recreation actress Rashida Jones to Family Guy mastermind Seth MacFarlane, and check back as we’ll continue to update this page throughout the day.
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 John Belushi, Gilda Radner, and Bill Murray. By 1976 he was head writer and a regular performer on the top Canadian comedy series ‘SCTV’ His Hollywood debut came when he collaborated on the script for ‘National Lampoon’s Animal House’ which was produced by Ivan Reitman. That began an historic collaboration between Ramis and Reitman, with Ramis frequently casting Bill Murray in the leading roles (Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, Caddyshack, Stripes and Groundhog Day).
“I was fortunate to be able to do two movies with Harold Ramis,” Groundhog Day and Multiplicity star Andie MacDowell said in a statement. “He was the kindest of any director with whom I worked. Harold was a genius. On top of his talent, he could do the New York Times crossword puzzle faster than anyone!! I am lucky to have known him as well as I did. I will miss him.”
“Harold was a force of good in the universe,” Year One star Jack Black said. “So funny, sweet and thoughtful. He will be deeply missed.”
Here are other A-list celebrity responses that came through on social media, particularly Twitter:
Sad to hear my friend Harold Ramis passed away. A brilliant, funny, actor and director. A wonderful husband and dad. Big loss to us all. bc
— Billy Crystal (@BillyCrystal) February 24, 2014
Very, very sad to hear that Harold Ramis has died. He was a lovely man and I loved working with him. RIP xxx
— Elizabeth Hurley (@ElizabethHurley) February 24, 2014
So sad to hear about Harold Ramis. One of the all time greats.
— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) February 24, 2014