From Dan Aykroyd on Facebook to Steve Carrell on twitter, Second City alumni posted their sadness to fans about the passing of Harold Ramis on Monday.
Harold Ramis. Funny, gracious, kind hearted. A joy to have known you.
— Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) February 24, 2014
“Harold is like part of the second city. He was a mentor to me when I started and all the way up until today,” said Kelly Leonard of Second City.
Leonard knew Ramis for 25 years, through Second City where Ramis got his start in 1969. Part of the new generation of comedians who changed the way America laughed.
“The cast before him all have button down shirts and short hair. His group is which included John Belushi had long hair. There were no suits and they were called the next generation,” Leonard said. “And so you can see ‘on there’s the change at second city. When it all changed and Harold was at the epicenter of that.”
Unlike many who gained success after coming to Second City from other places, Harold Ramis was Chicago through-and-through. Graduating from Senn High School on the city’s far North Side, Ramis never forgot his roots, even in Hollywood.
In 1996, Ramis moved back home. He lived in suburban Glencoe, where friends paid their respects. For Ramis, Chicago was home.