The Ghostbusters are mourning one of their own after the passing of Harold Ramis on Monday at the age of 69.
Ramis, who co-wrote the franchise with Dan Aykroyd, portrayed Dr. Egon Spengler in both the franchise films and video games.
Akroyd (Dr. Raymond Stantz in Ghostbusters) posted to both his Facebook and Twitter accounts: “Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend, co-writer/performer and teacher Harold Ramis. May he now get the answers he was always seeking. ”
Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend, co-writer/performer and teacher Harold Ramis.
— Dan Aykroyd (@dan_aykroyd) February 24, 2014
Bill Murray (Dr. Peter Venkman) released a statement that said, “Harold Ramis and I together did the National Lampoon Show off Broadway, Meatballs, Stripes, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day. He earned his keep on this planet. God bless him.”
The third Ghostbuster, actor Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddmore), was interviewed by a TMZ photographer at LAX just after hearing the news of Ramis’ passing.
Hudson praised him as a down to earth, good guy and good friend who would be missed. When asked if he was still recognized from his role in Ghostbusters, the actor said that the film is worldwide and “Harold was the glue (of Ghostbusters)” who taught him a lot and that he had learned from his example.
Regarding the possibility of another Ghostbusters movie now, Hudson – who in the past has said he would be interested in taking part in another sequel – stated that “There can’t be another ghostbusters without Harold, although there may be a Ghost-something”, adding that it was always his fear that “something would happen before they all got together (again)”.
As Dan Aykroyd mentioned in an interview with the CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos, the concept for Ghostbusters was born at his family farm outside of Kingston.
It was the scene of séances conducted by his great-grandfather and Dan’s father, Peter Aykroyd, continued that interest in the paranormal and authored the book A History of Ghosts: The True Story of Séances, Mediums, Ghosts and Ghostbusters.
A new Ghostbusters movie has been championed by Aykroyd for many years now. If it does go into production, the film would be another Hollywood legacy for Harold Ramis, who was been involved in co-writing the script as well as bringing in comedy writers from NBC’s “The Office” (where he directed four episodes between 2006 and 2010).
UPDATE: According to The Hollywood Reporter “The Sony sequel remains on track but will need to be tweaked since Ramis had been scheduled to make a cameo appearance along with the other original Ghostbusters…”
The original 1984 Ghostbusters film – which will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary this June – also experienced an actor’s death before filming.
The role of Dr. Peter Venkman was originally written for Aykroyd’s friend and fellow Blues Brother, John Belushi, who died March 5, 1982 during the writing of the screenplay.
The Venkman character was subsequently portrayed by another Saturday Night Live alumnus, Bill Murray.
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