On Monday, February 24 Aly Weisman of Business Insider reported that celebrities have been taking to Twitter to honor the influential writer/director/actor Harold Ramis in the hours since he passed away at the age of 69 early on Monday morning.
According to Weisman, "Veteran actor, director, producer, and screenwriter Harold Ramis died Monday in Chicago at age 69 following a battle with a rare autoimmune disease.
"Ramis will forever be remembered for his work on films such as 'Ghostbusters,' 'Caddyshack,' 'Groundhog Day,' and 'Animal House.'
"Hollywood has been grieving via Twitter since this morning's news of the comedy legend's death:"
Weisman reported that actress Rashida Jones, who some people in the greater Spokane area will remember from her roles in the television series "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation", posted, "So sad about Harold Ramis. Comedy legend. And a lovely man. #GriswaldsForever #Ghostbusters #GroundhogDay"
She added that actor/comedian Patton Oswalt deliberately misquoted a line Ramis said as Dr. Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters to express his grief.
"If a Twinkie represents amount of grief I feel when someone dies, Harold Ramis' death would be a Twinkie 35 feet long weighing 600 pounds," Oswalt said.
Searching for results related to Harold Ramis on Twitter reveals many touching tributes from people who knew him and/or were influenced by him such as Zach Braff, rapper MC Chris, Lewis Black, Stephen Fry and his co-star and collaborator Dan Aykroyd.
"Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend, co-writer/performer and teacher Harold Ramis," Aykroyd tweeted. "May he now get the answers he was always seeking."
Actress Olivia Wilde wrote a tweet that was similar to what many people who worked with Ramis have been saying.
Wilde posted, "Harold Ramis was a kind, wise, hilarious, brilliant guy with a buddhist heart. So grateful to have worked for him. Sending love to his fam."
People from the greater Spokane area, especially those who grew up in and around the Lilac City during the Eighties and Nineties were probably more influenced by Ramis than they may have realized. In addition to "Animal House", "Caddyshack" and "Ghostbusters", he had writing credits on movies such as "Stripes", "Meatballs", the John Candy/Eugene Levy vehicle "Armed and Dangerous", and the Rodney Dangerfield comedy "Back to School."
As if that wasn't enough for one career, he also was part of the cast of the sketch comedy series SCTV (which aired locally in syndication and on the PBS station KSPS back in the 1980s) and he had several memorable films roles. He is perhaps best known for playing Egon in the Ghostbuster movies and for playing Bill Murray's sidekick Russell Ziskey in "Stripes", but he was also credited with roles in 20 other movies ranging from the science fiction cartoon "Heavy Metal" to "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story."
Ramis also directed episodes of "The Office" and movies such as "Vacation", "Multiplicity" and "Analyze This." He worked with many talented comedians ranging from Chevy Chase, to Billy Crystal, to Steve Carrell. More recently, he worked with Jack Black and Michael Cera on "Year One."
Ramis will be missed by his fans and many performers who were influenced by him. People in the Spokane area who would like to see more of what others are saying about his passing on Twitter can find relevant tweets by searching for Harold Ramis or by using search terms such as "Harold Ramis Ghostbusters" and "Harold Ramis cross the streams."