Chicago's own Harold Ramis died yesterday. He was a Cub fan, a prolific writer and director. Whether behind the camera, in front of the camera or by providing the script, he was responsible for some of the screen's most successful comedies, including Animal House, Caddyshack, Meatballs, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Analyze This and Groundhog Day. He worked most successfully with Bill Murray. They made hit movies together, and Ramis once said that the secret to making a good comedy was to hire Bill Murray and then remember to turn on the camera.
Their decades long friendship ended after Groundhog Day wrapped. According to this New Yorker profile, Ramis reached out to Murray more than once but Bill never returned his calls. Reportedly Murray said, "I've thought about it, but I really don't have anything to say."
|Pollack & Redford clown for the cameras, Cannes 1972|
Murray, they became friends before they were famous and remained so for decades. And, like Ramis and Murray, success seemingly drove them apart. Once Redford became an award-winning director, it appears he became extremely competitive while Pollack got very jealous. Similarly, it looks like Murray may have resented being viewed by some as Ramis' "creation."
I understand that we each have to die. That's not what makes this story sad. It's that Murray and Ramis brought such joy to millions of us, but couldn't find it with each other.