Harold Ramis, the man behind “Ghostbusters” and “Groundhog Day,” passed away last February at the age of 69. Like many, the Writers Guild of America hasn't forgotten the impact he made over a 38-year career. The organization announced Tuesday that they will honor the writer/director/actor with the WGA's 2015 Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement at the Writers Guild Awards ceremony next month. Ramis' wife, Erica Mann Ramis, and family will accept the award on his behalf.
In a release, WGAw Vice President Howard A. Rodman noted, “Harold Ramis changed the face of comedy. His death last year deprived us of his unique way of seeing the world, at once hilarious and wise. From his early work with 'National Lampoon' and 'SCTV' through 'Animal House,' 'Meatballs,' 'Caddyshack' and 'Ghostbusters,' Ramis' voice was strong, clear, outrageous in all the best ways. His unrealized projects – an adaptation of 'Confederacy of Dunces,' a biopic about Emma Goldman – leave us aching with an anticipation that will never be fulfilled. And then there's 'Groundhog Day,' one of modern cinema's few true masterworks, a film that is impeccably crafted, morally astute, emotionally sustaining, philosophically insightful and funny as hell. We could watch it again and again and forever.”
Ramis directed and appeared in many of his written works, including “Groundhog Day” and “Analyze This.” His other directing credits included “Caddyshack,” “National Lampoon's Vacation,” “Multiplicity” and “The Ice Harvest.” He also appeared in “Knocked Up,” “Baby Boom,” “Stealing Home” and “As Good As It Gets.”
The Laurel Award is presented to a Writers Guild member who has “advanced the literature of motion pictures and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the screenwriter.” Previous recipients include David Mamet, Lawrence Kasdan, Robert Benton, Barry Levinson, Steven Zaillian, Eric Roth, Tom Stoppard and Paul Mazursky.
The 2015 Writers Guild Awards will be handed out Saturday, Feb. 14 at the Hyatt Regency Century City.