More Harold Ramis Bios & Profiles
Biography #2Harold Ramis' unique talents in writing, directing, producing and acting have contributed to many of the most successful screen comedies ever made.
Born in Chicago, Ramis received a bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis and returned there in 1993 to receive an honorary Doctorate in Arts. He got his start in comedy in 1969 at Chicago's famed Second City improvisational theater troupe while still employed as associate editor at Playboy Magazine. In 1974, he moved to New York to help write and perform in The National Lampoon Show with fellow Second City graduates John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray. By 1976, Ramis was the head writer and a regular performer on SCTV.
Ramis' Hollywood breakthrough came in 1978, when he co-wrote (with Doug Kenny and Chris Miller) the blockbuster comedy National Lampoon's Animal House. Ramis went on to write a string of hits. He and Ivan Reitman (producer of Animal House) teamed up again to work as writer and producer/director on such box-office successes as Meatballs Stripes, Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. Ramis also co-starred in Stripes and the Ghostbuster" films.
Ramis made his directorial debut and co-wrote Caddyshack starring Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield, followed by National Lampoon's Vacation, the enormously popular comedy he directed and which starred Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo. He also directed and co-wrote Club Paradise, starring Robin Williams and Peter O'Toole, and in the same year, co-wrote and served as executive producer on Rodney Dangerfield's Back to School.
Ramis' appearance in Baby Boom opposite Diane Keaton marked his debut as an actor in a film he hadn't written, produced or directed. He also appeared in Stealing Home with Jodie Foster and Mark Harmon, Love Affair with Warren Beatty, Annette Bening and Gary Shandling, and James L. Brooks' As Good As It Gets, the Academy Award-nominated film starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.
Ramis also directed, produced and co-wrote the comedy hit Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell; directed Stuart Saves His Family, starring Al Franken and Laura San Giacomo; and directed, co-wrote (uncredited) and co-produced Multiplicity, starring Michael Keaton and Andie MacDowell.
Bio courtesy Warner Bros. (07-Dec-2002)