Bill Murray, making a rare Oscar appearance less than a week after the death of Harold Ramis, made a poignant shout-out to his old friend while presenting the award for Best Cinematography. After announcing the nominees, Murray added, “Oh, we forgot one. Harold Ramis for Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and Groundhog Day.”
The audience applauded warmly, Murray apologized – needlessly – for stealing the moment, and then the prize was awarded to Gravity’s Emmanuel Lubezki, who won for the first time after six nominations.
Murray and Ramis knew each other before they were famous, coming up together in the Chicago comedy scene and then working together in New York. Ramis would co-write Animal House, and then join Murray behind the scenes of Meatballs, Caddyshack, and Stripes, the latter two which he directed. They co-starred in Ghostbusters, and then made Groundhog Day together in 1993. Ramis was never nominated for an Oscar, but his Groundhog Day script, which he co-wrote with Danny Rubin, won the BAFTA Award.