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"Ghostbusters" Star Harold Ramis Dead At 69

posted 25 Feb 2014, 05:22 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 25 Feb 2014, 05:23 ]

Actor and director Harold Ramis dies at age 69.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (REUTERS) -  Comedy director and actor Harold Ramis, best known for films such as "Ghostbusters," "Groundhog Day" and "Caddyshack," has died at the age of 69 of complications from a rare vascular disease, his agent said on Monday (February 24).

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Ramis, who had been suffering from a rare illness since 2010, passed away peacefully on Monday morning at his home in Chicago, surrounded by family members.

"I'm sad to say the news is true," said Chris Day, a spokesman for the United Talent Agency in Los Angeles. "He passed away from complications related to autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis."

Ramis, a celebrated director, writer, actor and producer grew up in Chicago and graduated fromWashington University in St. Louis. He worked as an associate editor at Playboy Magazine before he got his start in comedy in 1969 with the city's famous Second City improvisational theater group.

Ramis, who returned to Chicago in 1996 after 20 years in Los Angeles, got his big break when he co-wrote the comedy hit "National Lampoon's Animal House" in 1978.

Known for his dry wit, he worked on other comedy scripts before making his directorial debut in 1980 with "Caddyshack," followed three years later by "National Lampoon's Vacation." He went on to star as Dr. Egon Spengler in Ivan Reitman's cult comedy franchise "Ghostbusters."

In 1993 he co-wrote, produced, and directed "Groundhog Day." Other films he co-wrote and directed include "Analyze This," with Robert DeNiro and Crystal in 1999, and the sequel two years later "Analyze That."