Victim of random street attack in NY City turns out to be actor Rick Moranis

Thursday morning there was a random attack on the street in New York. Police quickly released video of the assault and asked for tips finding the person responsible. A police spokesman said the victim was punched in the head with a closed fist. There didn’t appear to be any reason for this attack. Just a random attack on an older man.

Today police released a much clearer image of the suspect. This is pure speculation on my part but I wonder if this will turn out to be another random attack by a homeless person.

What you can’t see in the video clip above is the identity of the victim. He’s actually been blurred out. But today we learned he’s someone a lot of us remember fondly, actor Rick Moranis.

Police said he went to the hospital with pain in his head, back and hip. He later walked to the precinct to report the crime.

Moranis’ management team told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis he is “fine, but grateful for everyone’s thoughts and well wishes.”

Moranis had a good career going in the 80s. He was on SCTV and hit it big as half of the Bob and Doug McKenzie skit which poked fun at a pair of beer-drinking Canadian brothers. A film based on the skit, Strange Brew was released in 1983. After that Moranis had memorable roles in Ghostbusters, Little Shop of Horrors, Spaceballs, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids plus various sequels and a bunch more films. What I didn’t know was that he mostly stopped acting after a family tragedy in the 1990s:

Contrary to what it says on his Wikipedia page — and to the fact that he barely has appeared onscreen in the past two decades — Moranis is not retired. Not exactly, anyway. He did take an 18-year hiatus from acting after his wife, Ann, died from breast cancer in 1997 to focus on raising his two young children (ever the overprotective father, he won’t reveal their names). But now that his kids have grown, the actor…is thinking about stepping back in front of the cameras again. He’s just really, really particular about which cameras…

Today he lives alone in a sprawling, art-filled apartment on the Upper West Side (not far from the building where the Ghostbusters once did battle with a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man)…

But whenever he leaves his apartment, he still gets recognized on the streets of New York. “People are very nice when they see me,” he says. “They ask me, ‘How come they don’t make movies like they used to?’ We were governed by a certain kind of taste at that time, and there were places we wouldn’t go with language and bodily fluids and functions. I think that’s what they’re nostalgic for.”

Moranis has recently agreed to appear in another Honey, I Shrunk the Kids sequel and earlier this month he appeared in a cell phone ad with actor Ryan Reynolds:

To his credit, Moranis turned down a cameo in the female Ghostbusters reboot:

“I wish them well,” says the 62-year-old comedic legend, who’s so stunned by the outcry over his absence in the film that he decided to grant a rare interview with THR. “I hope it’s terrific. But it just makes no sense to me. Why would I do just one day of shooting on something I did 30 years ago?”

Good call, Rick Moranis, good call.

I grew up watching Moranis so I have a fondness for him. I hope they catch the guy who punched him and I really hope this doesn’t dissuade him from returning to work. Maybe he should hire a lawyer like the one he had in Strange Brew to keep away strangers on the street:

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