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Harold Ramis, best known for the films Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, has died aged 69.
The actor found fame as bespectacled ghost-hunter Egon Spengler in the Ghostbusters franchise in 1984.
But he was also a talented writer and director, whose credits included Caddyshack and Analyze This.
Harold Ramis died of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels.
Born in Chicago to convenience store owners Ruth and Nathan, Harold Ramis studied at Washington University in Missouri and, on graduation, briefly worked in a psychiatric ward.
Harold Ramis died of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels
He started his career as a writer by penning arts stories for his local newspaper and editing Playboy magazine’s “party jokes” section.
Harold Ramis developed his career behind the camera, directing Bill Murray in Groundhog Day and Robert De Niro in the mobster spoof Analyze This.
His other films included The Ice Harvest, Bedazzled and prehistoric comedy Year One, his final movie, in 2009.
In addition to his wife, Erica,
Harold Ramis is survived by his wife Erica, sons Julian and Daniel, daughter Violet and two grandchildren.
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Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck were in agreement in their prognostications on this year’s Groundhog Day.
While Punxsutawney Phil tends to get the most attention, Staten Island Chuck stole the show as he squirmed out of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s arms.
Staten Island’s furry prognosticator, Charles G. Hogg, called for six more weeks of cold winter weather on February 2 during a ceremony at the Staten Island Zoo.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, officiating his first Groundhog Day ceremony on Staten Island, said: “This is one of the great events on Staten Island.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at his first Groundhog Day ceremony on Staten Island
“Chuck and my predecessor didn’t always get along,” said de Bill de Blasio,
“But I’m hoping we can start a new day,” he added.
Wearing protective gloves, Bill de Blasio lost his grip on Chuck for a moment, as the famous groundhog fell to the floor, drawing gasps from the crowd.
With temperatures nearing the 40s, hundreds of folks crowded around Chuck’s log cabin to see the prediction.
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Thousands of people in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, have been celebrating Groundhog Day.
Groundhog Phil is famous for predicting whether or not winter is due to end.
The rodent saw his shadow which means winter will extend well into March according to folklore. Had Phil not seen his shadow, it would have meant spring is around the corner.
Phil’s prediction may depress residents in the eastern US, weary from repeated outbreaks of arctic air.
Thousands of people in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, have been celebrating Groundhog Day
Since the Groundhog’s first prediction in 1887, Phil has seen his shadow 100 times and not seen it on just 17 occasions. There are nine missing years in the record, but Phil has issued a forecast without exception.
No one questions Phil’s dedication to prognostication, but his accuracy is an unending source of controversy.
Last Groundhog Day, Phil did not see his shadow, a supposed harbinger of an early spring. Yet, bitter cold and snow affected the eastern US deep into March.
The prosecuting attorney in Butler County, Ohio went as far as to seek the death penalty for Phil for “misrepresentation of early spring” before a Pennsylvania law firm came to Phil’s defense, claiming the Ohio attorney had no jurisdiction to prosecute the Groundhog.
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Tim Minchin is working on a musical adaptation of the film Groundhog Day.
Danny Rubin, who wrote the film script, and Matilda director Matthew Warchus, will also be on board.
Tim Minchin, who revealed the news on his blog, said: “Our version of Groundhog Day is going to be both instantly recognizable, and utterly different.”
The 1993 film, starring Bill Murray, is considered to be a comedy classic.
The movie tells the story of a grumpy weatherman who is sent to a small town to do a weather report and gets stuck in a time loop, having to live the same day over and over again until he learns how to be a better person.
Tim Minchin is working on a musical adaptation of the film Groundhog Day
Tim Minchin wrote: “The central conceit is perfectly suited to the theatre… it has the potential to be complex, dark, visually fascinating, and thematically rich, whilst still being a joyous romantic comedy with cool tunes and lots of gags.
“It’s certainly not an easy job, and I’m truly honored – and genuinely excited – that Danny is letting me have a crack at it.”
He added that Stephen Sondheim had considered adapting Groundhog Day for the stage a few years ago but “it got put on the back burner, and he is now happy that we’re making a go of it. We have Steve’s blessing – and it’s a blessing I value enormously.”
Tim Minchin added that he hoped Groundhog Day would be on the stage in a couple of years but did not reveal where.
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Ohio authorities have issued an “indictment” against Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog famed for predicting spring’s arrival, after he got it wrong this year.
The groundhog forecast an early spring when he did not see his shadow as he emerged from hibernation on February 2.
Prosecutors in Ohio’s Butler County accuse the rodent of deliberately misleading the public.
They say such a felony should be punished by death.
“Punxsutawney Phil did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that spring would come early,” wrote Mike Gmoser, Butler County prosecutor, in an official-looking paper.
Mike Gmoser added the wrong prediction amounted to a felony “against the peace and dignity of the state of Ohio”.
But Bill Deeley, president of the club that organizes Groundhog Day, said Phil has a lawyer and would fight attempted extradition by the Ohio authorities.
Punxsutawney Phil forecast an early spring for 2013 when he did not see his shadow as he emerged from hibernation on February 2
He added the death penalty would be a “very harsh” punishment for the much-loved rodent.
“We’ll have to plead our case one way or the other, but I think we can beat the rap,” Bill Deeley said.
There has been much chatter on social media about Punxsutawney Phil’s incorrect prediction that spring would come early.
Temperatures in the region remain low, with a storm due on Sunday that could bring several inches of snow with it.
Each year thousands of people visit the tiny western Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney, depicted in the 1993 comedy Groundhog Day, to witness Phil’s prognostication.