For those of you that live under a rock, Harold Ramis: Actor/Writer/Director has passed away today at the age of 69 after a long fight with an auto immune illness. The picture I've included is my favorite roles from his career probably because it is the one I connect the most with; Egon Spengler of The Ghostbusters. I have absolutely no idea how many times I've watch the film and unlike a lot of my friends who gravitate toward the often over the top performances of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, I've always been more in touch with my inner geek. Egon is that geek and as with most of his roles, Ramis was the straight man. A bastion of sanity amongst a crew of far more outlandish characters keeping it together while all around him the cut ups laughed or worked hard to make the audience piss themselves laughing.
I've been in a couple films, and at this point over two dozen plays and, with very few exceptions, I am the straight man. The characters I've portrayed have been described as "the everyman", "the audience window", "the grounding point". That is why I think, more than the loss of Shirley Temple or Sid Caesar this month, I am profoundly saddened by the death of Harold Ramis. It is that kind of connection that I feel when I think of characters like Egon. We as artists of all stripes (Get the reference? I bet only half of you did.), actors, writers, anyone creative can really hope for is for something we do to connect with people. For someone, even if it is only one person, to truly be moved, inspired or infused with joy by our expression. That is how we, as artists, can become immortal.
It is a lot to hope for, that years from now people will look back on anything we have done and still find value in it. To be moved or inspired by our efforts. People, creative ones particularly, pour their soul into their craft of choice. The best bare themselves to the world in the hope that some spark will ignite a passion in someone else to do the things we have only imagined. Harold, you will be missed. The world is a slightly less funny place today without you in it, but you will not be forgotten.
We will carry on your message and tell everyone "about the Twinkie". At least until some Hollywood genius greenlights The Ghostbusters Reboot.
Born: November 21, 1944
Died: February 24, 2014
Rest in Peace