Ghostbusters Star Harold Ramis Dead at 69

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Harold Ramis

Harold Ramis

Ghostbusters star and co-writer Harold Ramis has died at age 69.  United Talent Agency confirmed his death to ABC News today.

Ramis was known as much for his off-screen work as he was for playing Dr. Egon Spengler in front of the camera.  He was a prolific writer, scripting or co-writing classic film comedies including Ghostbusters, Animal House, CaddyshackStripes – in which he also co-starred with frequent collaborator Bill Murray — and Groundhog Day.  He also directed many of those films, including Analyze This, starring Robert De Niro.  Most recently, he directed several episodes of TV’s The Office.

Ramis, a Chicago native, was surrounded by family when he died early Monday morning from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, his wife Erica Mann Ramis told the Chicago Tribune.   Ramis’s rare disease involved a swelling of the blood vessels.  His health issues reportedly began in 2010, which is his condition was so bad at one point that he had to relearn to walk.

Dan Aykroyd, who both co-wrote the Ghostbusters films with Ramis and co-starred with Ramis in them, said in a statement, “Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend, co-writer/performer and teacher Harold Ramis.  May he now get the answers he was always seeking.”

Ramis is survived by sons Julian and Daniel, daughter Violet, and two grandchildren.  Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.

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