Dana Barron is an American actress, best known for her role as the original Audrey Griswold in the 1983 film National Lampoon's Vacation which she reprised in 2003's National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure for NBC television. Barron was born in New York, her mother, Joyce McCord, is a stage actress. Her father, Robert Weeks Barron, was a director of commercials and a Congregationalist church pastor. Barron has a sister named Allison, she is a fifth generation entertainer. Her grandfather was an opera singer, her mother moved from Alabama to become an actress. Barron's sister, had been doing TV commercials at a young age, Barron told her father that she wished to do the same, she began doing TV commercials as well. By age 11, she Seek on Broadway. By age 13, her first film was the horror film He Knows You're Alone, with Tom Hanks, Hanks' first film. In 1983, Barron starred in the Chevy Chase comedy National Lampoon's Vacation, originating the role of Audrey Griswold.
The film became a classic, Barron would reprise the role 20 years in the NBC TV movie spinoff, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure. Barron received a Daytime Emmy Award in 1989 for her appearance in the CBS after-school special No Means No. Barron appeared on the soap opera One Life to Live from 1984 to 1985 as Michelle Boudin, she starred in the 1998 The Magnificent Seven as Casey. She had a recurring role as Nikki Witt on the Fox series Beverly Hills, 90210, during which she was able to make her character's clothes and modify her lines; the role won her the Youth in Film Award for as best recurring actress. In 1992, she starred with JoBeth Williams and Chris Burke in the NBC movie Jonathan: The Boy Nobody Wanted. Barron has made guest appearances on TV shows including The Equalizer, In the Heat of the Night, She Wrote, Babylon 5 as a telepath named Lauren Ashley in the Season 5 episode "The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father". Barron was in a long term relationship with filmmaker Michael Vickerman.
They have Taylor. Dana Plato and Dana Hill, two other American actresses named Dana that were prominent at Barron's peak of fame. Dana Barron on IMDb Dana Barron at AllMovie
Anthony Michael Hall
Michael Anthony Hall, known professionally as Anthony Michael Hall, is an American actor who starred in several teen-oriented films of the 1980s. Hall began his career in commercials and on stage as a child, made his screen debut in 1980, his films with director-screenwriter John Hughes, beginning with the popular 1983 comedy National Lampoon's Vacation and the coming-of-age comedy Sixteen Candles, shaped his early career. Hall's next movies with Hughes were the teen classics The Breakfast Club and Weird Science, both in 1985. Hall diversified his roles to avoid becoming typecast as his geek persona, joining the cast of Saturday Night Live and starring in films such as Out of Bounds, Johnny Be Good, Edward Scissorhands and Six Degrees of Separation. After a series of minor roles in the 1990s, he starred as Microsoft's Bill Gates in the 1999 television film Pirates of Silicon Valley, he had the leading role in the USA Network series The Dead Zone from 2002 to 2007. Hall was born on Easter Sunday, April 14, 1968, in West Roxbury, a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts.
He is the only child of blues-jazz singer Mercedes Hall's first marriage. She divorced Larry, an auto-body-shop owner, when their son was six months old; when Hall was three, he and his mother relocated to the West Coast, where she found work as a featured singer. After a year and a half, they returned to the East moving to New York City, where Hall grew up. Hall's ancestry is Italian, he has one half-sister, Mary Chestaro, from his mother's second marriage to Thomas Chestaro, a show business manager. His half-sister is pursuing a career as a singer under the name of Mary C. Hall uses the name Anthony, rather than Michael, he transposed his first and middle names when he entered show business because there was another actor named Michael Hall, a member of the Screen Actors Guild. Hall attended St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's School of New York before moving on to Manhattan's Professional Children's School. Hall continued throughout high school. "I did not go to college," he has said, "but I'm an avid reader in the ongoing process of educating myself."
Through the 1980s, Hall's mother managed his career relinquishing that role to her second husband. At the age of seven, Hall started his career in commercials, he appeared in several commercials for toys and Bounty. His stage debut was in 1977, when he was cast as the young Steve Allen in Allen's semi-autobiographical play The Wake, he went on to appear in the Lincoln Center Festival's production of St. Joan of the Microphone, in a play with Woody Allen. In 1980, he made his screen debut in the Emmy-winning TV movie The Gold Bug, in which he played the young Edgar Allan Poe. In 1981 he started as Huck Finn in Rascals and Robbers: The Secret Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn but it was not until the release of the 1982 Kenny Rogers film Six Pack that he gained real notice; the following year, Hall landed the role of Rusty Griswold, Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo's son, in National Lampoon's Vacation, catching the attention of the film's screenwriter John Hughes, about to make the jump to directing.
"For to upstage Chevy, I thought, was a remarkable accomplishment for a 13-year-old kid," said Hughes. The film was a significant box office hit in 1983, grossing over US$61 million in the United States. After Vacation, Hall declined to reprise his role in the 1985 sequel. Hall's breakout role came in 1984, when he was cast as Farmer Ted, the scrawny, braces-wearing geek, who pursued Molly Ringwald's character in John Hughes' directing debut Sixteen Candles. Hall tried to avoid the clichés of geekness. "I didn't play him with 100 pens sticking out of his pocket," he said. "I played it like a real kid. The geek is just a typical freshman." Hall landed a spot on the promotional materials, along with co-star Ringwald. Reviews of the film were positive for Hall and his co-stars, one for People Weekly claimed that Hall's performance " the film" from Ringwald. Despite achieving only moderate success at the box office, the film made overnight stars of Ringwald and Hall. In 1985, Hall starred in two teen-oriented films directed by John Hughes.
He was cast as Brian Johnson, "the brain," in The Breakfast Club, co-starring Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald. Film critic Janet Maslin praised Hall, stating that the 16-year-old actor and Ringwald were "the movie's standout performers." Hall and fellow costar Molly Ringwald dated for a short period of time after filming The Breakfast Club together in 1985. That year, Hall portrayed Gary Wallace, another likable misfit, in Weird Science. Critic Sheila Benson from the Los Angeles Times said "Hall the role model supreme" for the character, but she acknowledged that "he outgrowing the role" and " need to hold the patent on the bratty bright kid." Weird Science was a moderate success at the box office but was well-received for a teen comedy. Those roles established him as the 80s "nerd-of-choice," as well as a member in good standing of Hollywood's Brat Pack. Hall, who portrayed John Hughes' alter egos in Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Weird Science, credits the director for putting him on the map and giving him those opportunities as a child.
"I had the time of my life," he said. "I'd consider any day of the week."Hall joined the cast of Saturday Night Live during its 1985–86 season at the age of 17. He was, remains, the youngest cast member in the show's history, his recurring characters on the show were Craig Sundberg, Idiot Sava
St. Louis is an independent city and major inland port in the U. S. state of Missouri. It is situated along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which marks Missouri's border with Illinois; the Missouri River merges with the Mississippi River just north of the city. These two rivers combined form the fourth longest river system in the world; the city had an estimated 2017 population of 308,626 and is the cultural and economic center of the St. Louis metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, the second-largest in Illinois, the 22nd-largest in the United States. Before European settlement, the area was a regional center of Native American Mississippian culture; the city of St. Louis was founded in 1764 by French fur traders Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau, named after Louis IX of France. In 1764, following France's defeat in the Seven Years' War, the area was ceded to Spain and retroceded back to France in 1800. In 1803, the United States acquired the territory as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
During the 19th century, St. Louis became a major port on the Mississippi River, it separated from St. Louis County in 1877, becoming an independent city and limiting its own political boundaries. In 1904, it hosted the Summer Olympics; the economy of metropolitan St. Louis relies on service, trade, transportation of goods, tourism, its metro area is home to major corporations, including Anheuser-Busch, Express Scripts, Boeing Defense, Energizer, Enterprise, Peabody Energy, Post Holdings, Edward Jones, Go Jet and Sigma-Aldrich. Nine of the ten Fortune 500 companies based in Missouri are located within the St. Louis metropolitan area; this city has become known for its growing medical and research presence due to institutions such as Washington University in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. St. Louis has two professional sports teams: the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. One of the city's iconic sights is the 630-foot tall Gateway Arch in the downtown area.
The area that would become St. Louis was a center of the Native American Mississippian culture, which built numerous temple and residential earthwork mounds on both sides of the Mississippi River, their major regional center was at Cahokia Mounds, active from 900 to 1500. Due to numerous major earthworks within St. Louis boundaries, the city was nicknamed as the "Mound City"; these mounds were demolished during the city's development. Historic Native American tribes in the area included the Siouan-speaking Osage people, whose territory extended west, the Illiniwek. European exploration of the area was first recorded in 1673, when French explorers Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette traveled through the Mississippi River valley. Five years La Salle claimed the region for France as part of La Louisiane; the earliest European settlements in the area were built in Illinois Country on the east side of the Mississippi River during the 1690s and early 1700s at Cahokia and Fort de Chartres. Migrants from the French villages on the opposite side of the Mississippi River founded Ste.
Genevieve in the 1730s. In early 1764, after France lost the 7 Years' War, Pierre Laclède and his stepson Auguste Chouteau founded what was to become the city of St. Louis; the early French families built the city's economy on the fur trade with the Osage, as well as with more distant tribes along the Missouri River. The Chouteau brothers gained a monopoly from Spain on the fur trade with Santa Fe. French colonists used African slaves as domestic workers in the city. France, alarmed that Britain would demand French possessions west of the Mississippi and the Missouri River basin after the losing New France to them in 1759–60, transferred these to Spain as part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain; these areas remained in Spanish possession until 1803. In 1780 during the American Revolutionary War, St. Louis was attacked by British forces Native American allies, in the Battle of St. Louis; the founding of St. Louis began in 1763. Pierre Laclede led an expedition to set up a fur-trading post farther up the Mississippi River.
Before Laclede had been a successful merchant. For this reason, he and his trading partner Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxent were offered monopolies for six years of the fur trading in that area. Although they were only granted rights to set-up a trading post and other members of his expedition set up a settlement; some historians believe that Laclede's determination to create this settlement was the result of his affair with a married woman Marie-Thérèse Bourgeois Chouteau in New Orleans. Laclede on his initial expedition was accompanied by Auguste Chouteau; some historians still debate. The reason for this lingering question is that all the documentation of the founding was loaned and subsequently destroyed in a fire. For the first few years of St. Louis's existence, the city was not recognized by any of the governments. Although thought to be under the control of the Spanish government, no one asserted any authority over the settlement, thus St. Louis had no local government; this led Laclede to assume a position of civil control, all problems were disposed i
A road movie is a film genre in which the main characters leave home on a road trip altering the perspective from their everyday lives. Road movies depict travel in the hinterlands, with the films exploring the theme of alienation and examining the tensions and issues of the cultural identity of a nation or historical period; the setting includes not just the close confines of the car as it moves on highways and roads, but booths in diners and rooms in roadside motels, all of which helps to create intimacy and tension between the characters. Road movies tend to focus on the theme of masculinity, some type of rebellion, car culture, self-discovery; the core theme of road movies is "rebellion against conservative social norms". There are two main narratives: the outlaw chase. In the quest-style film, the story meanders. In outlaw road movies, in which the characters are fleeing from law enforcement, there is more sex and violence. Road films tend to focus more on characters' internal conflicts and transformations, based on their feelings as they experience new realities on their trip, rather than on the dramatic movement-based sequences that predominate in action films.
Road movies do not use the standard three-act structure used in mainstream films. The road movie keeps its characters "on the move", as such the "car, the tracking shot and wild open space" are important iconography elements, similar to a Western movie; as well, the road movie is similar to a Western in that road films are about a "frontiersmanship" and about the codes of discovery. Road movies use the music from the car stereo, which the characters are listening to, as the soundtrack and in 1960s and 1970s road movies, rock music is used. While early road movies from the 1930s focused on heterosexual couples, in post-World War II films the travellers are male buddies, although in some cases, women are depicted on the road, either as temporary companions, or more as the protagonist couple; the genre can be parodied, or have protagonists that depart from the typical heterosexual couple or buddy paradigm, as with The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which depicts a group of drag queens who tour the Australian desert.
Other examples of the increasing diversity of the drivers shown in 1990s and subsequent decades' road films are The Living End, about two gay, HIV-positive men on a road trip. Julie Newmar, about transvestites, Smoke Signals, about two Indigenous men. While rare, there are some road movies about large groups on lone drivers; the road movie has been called an ambiguous film genre. Timothy Corrigan states that road movies are a "knowingly impure" genre as they have "overdetermined and built-in genre-blending tendencies". Devin Orgeron states that road movies, despite their literal focus on car trips, are "about the the cinema, about the culture of the image", with road movies created with a mixture of Classical Hollywood film genres; the road movie genre developed from a "constellation of “solid” modernity, combining locomotion and media-motion" to get "away from the sedentarising forces of modernity and produc contingency". Road movies are blended with other genres to create a number of subgenres, including: road horror.
Film noir road movies include Detour, The Devil Thumbs a Ride and The Hitch-Hiker, all of which "establish fear and suspense around hitchhiking", the outlaw-themed film noirs They Live By Night and Gun Crazy. Film noir-influenced road films continued in the neo noir era, with The Hitcher, Red Rock West, Joy Ride. Though road movies are a significant and popular genre, it is an "overlooked strain of film history," major genre studies do not examine road movies and there has been little analysis of what qualifies as a road movie; the road movie is associated with the United States, as it focuses on "peculiarly American dreams and anxieties". US road movies examine the tension between the two foundational myths of American culture, which are individualism and populism, which leads to some road films depicting the open road as a "utopian fantasy" with a homogenous culture while others show it as a "dystopian nightmare" of extreme cultural differences. US road movies depict the wide open, vast spaces of the highways as symbolizing the "scale and notionally utopian" opportunities to move up upwards and outwards in life.
In US road movies, the road is an "alternative space" where the characters, now set apart from conventional society, can experience transformation. For example, in It Happened One Night, a wealthy woman who goes on the road is liberated from her elite background and marriage to an immoral husband when she meets and experiences hospitality from regular, good-hearted Americans who she never would have me
Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS
The Ferrari 308 GTB berlinetta and targa topped 308 GTS are V8 mid-engined, two-seater sports cars manufactured by the Italian company Ferrari from 1975 to 1985. The 308 replaced the Dino 246 GT and GTS in 1975 and was updated as the 328 in 1985; the similar 208 GTB and GTS were equipped with a smaller naturally aspirated turbocharged two-litre engine, sold in Italy. The 308 had a tube frame with separate body; the 308 GTB/GTS and GT4 were mechanically similar, shared much with the original Dino. Both 308s sit on the same tube platform, however the GT4—being a 2+2—has a longer wheelbase; the engine was a V8 of a 90 degree configuration, with two belt-driven overhead camshafts per cylinder bank. It was transversely mounted in unit with the transaxle transmission assembly, below and to the rear of the engine's sump. All models used a synchromesh 5-speed "dog-leg" manual gearbox and a clutch-type limited slip differential. Suspension was all-independent, comprising double wishbones, coaxial coil springs and hydraulic dampers, anti-roll bars on both axles.
Steering was unassisted pinion. The 308's body was designed by Pininfarina's Leonardo Fioravanti, responsible for some of Ferrari's most celebrated shapes to date such as the Daytona, the Dino and the Berlinetta Boxer; the 308 used elements of these shapes to create something much in contrast with the angular Bertone-designed GT4. GTS models featured a removable roof panel with grained satin black finish, which could be stowed in a vinyl cover behind the seats when not in use; the Pininfarina-styled Ferrari 308 GTB was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1975 as a supplement to the Bertone-shaped 2+2 Dino 308 GT4 and a direct replacement for the 2-seater Dino 246. Its F106 AB V8 engine was equipped with four twin-choke Weber 40DCNF carburettors and single coil ignition. European versions produced 255 PS at 6600 rpm, but American versions were down to 240 PS at 6,600 rpm due to emissions control devices. European specification cars used dry sump lubrication. Cars destined to the Australian, Japanese and US market were fitted with a conventional wet sump engine from the GT4.
A notable aspect of the early 308 GTB was that, although still built by Carrozzeria Scaglietti, its bodywork was made of glass-reinforced plastic, allowing a light weight of 1,050 kg. This lasted until June 1977, when the 308 was switched to steel bodies, resulting in an overall weight increase of 150 kg. Five-spoke 14-inch alloy wheels were standard, while 16-inch wheels were made available as an option on the 328, together with sports exhaust system, high compression pistons, high lift camshaft. At the 1977 Frankfurt Motor Show, the targa topped. All GTSes were steel-bodied. European GTB models retained the dry sump lubrication until 1981. There were 3219 GTSes and 2897 GTBs made from 1975 to 1980. Only 808 of the fibreglass version were made. In 1980 Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection was offered, leading to GTSi; the fuel injection was coupled to a Marelli MED 803A Digiplex electronic ignition, incorporating a coil and ignition module for each bank of cylinders. Outside, the car was identical to the 308 GTB/GTS, save for metric sized wheels of a different design, fitted with Michelin TRX radial tyres—Michelin XWX on 16-inch wheels were optional.
Inside, the clock and oil temperature gauge were moved to the centre console. 494 GTBis and 1743 GTSis were produced before the model was succeeded by the 308 Quattrovalvole in 1982. Two years at the 1982 Paris Motor Show, Ferrari launched the 308 quattrovalvole, in GTB and GTS form; the main change from the 308 GTBi/GTSi it succeeded were the four valves per cylinder—hence its name, quattrovalvole "four valves" in Italian—which pushed output back up to 240 hp restoring some of the performance lost to the emission control equipment. The new model could be recognized by the addition of a slim louvred panel in the front lid to aid radiator exhaust air exit, power operated mirrors carrying a small enamel Ferrari badge, a redesigned radiator grille with rectangular driving lights on each side, rectangular side repeaters; the interior received some minor updates, such as a satin black three spoke steering wheel with triangular centre. Available options included metallic paint, a deep front spoiler, air conditioning, wider wheels, 16-inch Speedline wheels with Pirelli P7 tyres, a satin black roof aerofoil.
Apart from the DOHC 32-valve cylinder heads, the V8 engine was of the same design as that used in the 308 GTSi model. Total displacement was 2,927 cc, with a bore x stroke of 81 mm × 71 mm. Output on European specification cars was 240 PS at 7000 rpm and 260 N⋅m at 5000 rpm of torque, while for US specification variants were 233 PS at 6800 rpm and 255 N⋅m at 5500 rpm of torque; the gear and final drive ratios were altered to suit the revised characteristics of the 4 multivalves per cylinder engine. One other significant benefit of the QV four valve heads was the replacement of the non-QV models sodium valves which have bee
Randy Randall Rudy Quaid is an American film and television actor and Oscar nominee known for his roles in both serious drama and light comedy. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award and an Academy Award for his role in The Last Detail in 1973. In 1978 he co-starred as a prisoner in Midnight Express. Quaid won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy Award for his portrayal of U. S. President Lyndon Johnson in LBJ: The Early Years, he received Emmy nominations for his roles in A Streetcar Named Desire and Elvis. Quaid is known for his role of Cousin Eddie in the National Lampoon's Vacation movies. Quaid was born in Houston, the son of Juanita Bonniedale "Nita", a real estate agent, William Rudy Quaid, an electrician. Quaid has English, Scots-Irish, Cajun ancestry. Through his father, Quaid is a first cousin, twice removed, of cowboy performer Gene Autry. Randy Quaid grew up in Bellaire, Texas, a small city surrounded by Houston, in southwest Houston, he is the older brother of actor Dennis Quaid.
In high school, he took a class in drama on a whim, although he didn't expect he would enjoy the lectures. After the third day, however, he was captivated by the course and decided to make acting his professional goal, he continued studying acting at the University of Houston. During one course, his teacher sent him to audition for Peter Bogdanovich, casting for The Last Picture Show, Quaid won the role in what became his debut film. Randy Quaid has appeared in over 90 films. Peter Bogdanovich discovered him when Quaid was a student at the University of Houston, he received his first exposure in Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show, his character escorts Jacy Farrow to a late-night indoor skinny-dip at a swimming pool. It was the first of several roles directed by Bogdanovich and/or based on the writings of Larry McMurtry. Other Peter Bogdanovich films he appeared in are What's Up, Doc? and Paper Moon. Quaid's first major critically acclaimed role was in The Last Detail, he played Larry Meadows, a young United States Navy sailor on his way to serve a harsh sentence for petty theft.
Jack Nicholson starred as a sailor assigned to transport him to prison. Quaid was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. In 1976, he played opposite Marlon Brando in The Missouri Breaks. In 1978 Quaid had a supporting role in the Alan Parker true-life drama, Midnight Express, about Americans and an Englishman imprisoned in Turkey. Quaid acted opposite Charles Bronson in the 1975 action film of a Mexican prison escape Breakout, based on actual events. Quaid was the lead in the comedy Martians Go Home and Cold Dog Soup and played the King of Spain in Goya's Ghosts. In 1987 he won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Emmy for his portrayal of President Lyndon Johnson in LBJ: The Early Years. Quaid said. There was a physical resemblance between Quaid and Johnson, since they are both tall and from Texas. "I responded to him and his wants and needs in a way I've never done with any other character," he said.
Quaid tried to portray what he learned were L. B. J.'s political attitude: He was on the side of the people. He thought, he thought. But he had no understanding of their culture. In 1992 he played the monster in Frankenstein, filmed in Poland and the U. K. Quaid said "I wanted to make the monster not just a disfigured man. I wanted to emphasize the human qualities, he is struggling for equal rights. He wants anything any man would want." Quaid had starring roles in the 1996 film Kingpin, where he played the Amish bowler Ishmael, as well as a role as pilot in the blockbuster science fiction film Independence Day, released the same year. He starred in Quick Change with Bill Murray in 1990. Quaid appeared in four of the seven films in the National Lampoon's Vacation film series as Cousin Eddie, jovial redneck relative to Beverly D'Angelo, wife of Chevy Chase's Clark Griswold. Shortly after appearing in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, the third installment of the series, Quaid was featured in Days of Thunder as NASCAR car owner and successful car salesman Tim Daland, a determined businessman who expects his team to be top-notch for fans and sponsors.
Quaid was given the lead role in a Vacation spin-off, a made-for-television film National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure, which marks his final appearance in the franchise to date. He had a pivotal supporting role in Brokeback Mountain as insensitive rancher Joe Aguirre. Quaid had a co-starring role in the Canadian independent comedy Real Time, which opened the 2008 Slamdance Film Festival, his acclaimed performance earned him a Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award. Following his work in the direct-to-video comedy Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach, Quaid's legal troubles prevented him from working for a decade. Quaid was not asked to reprise the role of Cousin Eddie in Vacation, although the character is verbally referenced, he returned to performing with Rob Margolies' weight loss comedy Weight, which premiered at the SOHO International Film Festival in June 2018. After the film's September 2018 screening at the Northeast Film Festival, Quaid was nom
Harold Allen Ramis was an American actor, director and comedian. His best-known film acting roles were as Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II and Russell Ziskey in Stripes; as a director, his films include the comedies Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation, Groundhog Day, Analyze This. Ramis was the original head writer of the television series SCTV, on which he performed, as well as a co-writer of Groundhog Day and National Lampoon's Animal House; the final film that he wrote, produced and acted in was Year One. Ramis' films influenced subsequent generations of comedians and comedy writers. Filmmakers including Jay Roach, Jake Kasdan, Adam Sandler, Peter and Bobby Farrelly have cited his films as among their favorites. Along with Danny Rubin, he won the BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay for Groundhog Day. Ramis was born on November 21, 1944, in Chicago, the son of Ruth and Nathan Ramis, who owned the Ace Food & Liquor Mart on the city's far North Side. Ramis had a Jewish upbringing.
In his adult life, he did not practice any religion. He graduated from Stephen K. Hayt Elementary School in June 1958 and Nicholas Senn High School in 1962, both Chicago public schools, in 1966 from Washington University in St. Louis, where he was a member of the Alpha Xi chapter of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. Afterward, Ramis worked in a mental institution in St. Louis for seven months, he said of his time working there that it... prepared me well for when I went out to Hollywood to work with actors. People laugh when I say that, but it was very good training, and not just with actors. It's knowing how to deal with people who might be reacting in a way that's connected to anxiety or grief or fear or rage; as a director, you're dealing with that with actors. But if I were a businessman, I'd be applying those same principles to that line of work. Ramis began writing parodic plays in college, saying years "In my heart, I felt I was a combination of Groucho and Harpo Marx, of Groucho using his wit as a weapon against the upper classes, of Harpo's antic charm and the fact that he was oddly sexy—he grabs women, pulls their skirts off, gets away with it".
He avoided the Vietnam War military draft by taking methamphetamine to fail his draft physical. Following his work in St. Louis, Ramis returned to Chicago, where by 1968, he was a substitute teacher at schools serving the inner-city Robert Taylor Homes, he became associated with the guerrilla television collective TVTV, headed by his college friend Michael Shamberg, wrote freelance for the Chicago Daily News. "Michael Shamberg, right out of college, had started freelancing for newspapers and got on as a stringer for a local paper, I thought,'Well, if Michael can do that, I can do that.' I wrote a spec piece and submitted it to the Chicago Daily News, the Arts & Leisure section, they started giving me assignments entertainment features." Additionally, Ramis had begun studying and performing with Chicago's Second City improvisational comedy troupe. Ramis' newspaper writing led to his becoming joke editor at Playboy magazine. "I called... just cold and said I had written several pieces freelance and did they have any openings.
And they happened to have party jokes editor, open. He liked my stuff and he gave me a stack of jokes that readers had sent in and asked me to rewrite them. I had been in Second City in the workshops and Michael Shamberg and I had written comedy shows in college". Ramis was promoted to associate editor. After leaving Second City for a time and returning in 1972, having been replaced in the main cast by John Belushi, Ramis worked his way back as Belushi's deadpan foil. In 1974, Belushi brought Ramis and other Second City performers, including Ramis' frequent future collaborator Bill Murray, to New York City to work on The National Lampoon Radio Hour. During this time, Belushi, Joe Flaherty, Christopher Guest, Gilda Radner starred in the revue The National Lampoon Show, the successor to National Lampoon's Lemmings. Ramis became a performer on, head writer of, the late-night sketch-comedy television series SCTV during its first three years, he was soon offered work as a writer at Saturday Night Live but chose to continue with SCTV.
Characterizations by Ramis on SCTV include corrupt Dialing for Dollars host/SCTV station manager Maurice "Moe" Green, amiable cop Officer Friendly, exercise guru Swami Bananananda, board chairman Allan "Crazy Legs" Hirschman and home dentist Mort Finkel. His celebrity impressions on SCTV included Leonard Nimoy. In 1984, Ramis executive produced; the producer was Paul Flattery and the director was David Jove. Ramis got involved after the mysterious death of his friend Peter Ivers who had hosted Jove's underground show "New Wave Theater." He offered to help. Flattery and Jove pitched him the idea for The Top, Ramis was instrumental in getting it on the air; the show was a mixture of live music and humor. Performers on the show included Cyndi Lauper, who performed "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and "True Colors". Guest stars included Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. Ramis got Chevy Chase to host but, because Ghostbusters filming ran late, he did not make it to the taping. Chase came out dressed as a "punk" of the time