‘Ghostbusters’ star Harold Ramis has died, aged 69.
The Chicago Tribune is reporting the actor, writer and director, who helmed cult comedy classics including ‘Caddyshack’ and ‘Groundhog Day’, has died aged 69, following complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis.
However the Chicago-native was most famous for playing spook-catching scientist Egon Spengler in 1984 movie ‘Ghostbusters’, which he also wrote with co-star Dan Aykroyd.
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Harold's wife, Erica Mann Ramis, said her husband had succumed to complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels, and that Ramis had battled the illness since May 2010. He was surrounded by his family when he died.
The comedy great leaves behind a legacy of work, including: 'National Lampoon's Animal House', 'Meatballs', 'Stripes', 'Anaylse This' and 'Ghostbusters II'.
His final movie role was prehistoric comedy 'Year One', which he also wrote, directed and produced, in 2009.
Bill Murray, his co-star in 'Ghostbusters', said: "Harold Ramis and I together did the 'National Lampoon' show off-Broadway, 'Meatballs', 'Stripes', 'Caddyshack', 'Ghostbusters' and 'Groundhog Day'. He earned his keep on this planet. God bless him."
Many other stars have paid tribute to the film-maker on Twitter, with Dan Aykroyd paying his respects via the social network.
Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend, co-writer/performer and teacher Harold Ramis.
— Dan Aykroyd (@dan_aykroyd) February 24, 2014
No no not Harold Ramis. Worked for him years ago. He was the real deal. Growing up, his work changed my life. He will be missed.
— Jon Favreau (@Jon_Favreau) February 24, 2014
Was honored to have gotten to work with Harold Ramis, the Buddha of Comedy. Brilliant, humble, radiant. We've lost an icon. #GroundhogDay
— RainnWilson (@rainnwilson) February 24, 2014
Sad to hear my friend Harold Ramispassed away. A brilliant, funny, actor anddirector. A wonderful husband and dad.Big loss to us all. bc
— Billy Crystal (@BillyCrystal) February 24, 2014
Egon was my favorite Ghostbuster. Feels like we lost one of the Beatles.
— Jason Reitman (@JasonReitman) February 24, 2014
Harold was a master - a gentle wry subverter and as decent honest and kind a director as I've ever worked with - so sad .
— John Cusack (@johncusack) February 24, 2014
Harold Ramis was a brilliant, shining example for every comedy writer hoping to achieve excellence the field. He will be sorely missed.
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) February 24, 2014
So sorry to hear about the death of Harold Ramis, a comedy master. Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, and more.
— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) February 24, 2014
Harold Ramis. Funny, gracious, kind hearted. A joy to have known you.
— Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) February 24, 2014
If a Twinkie represents amount of grief I feel when someone dies, Harold Ramis' death would be a Twinkie 35 feet long weighing 600 pounds.
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) February 24, 2014
Judd Apatow, who directed him as he played Seth Rogan's dad in 'Knocked Up', added: "Harold Ramis made almost every movie which made me want to become a comedy director. 'Animal House', 'Stripes', 'Ghostbusters', 'Vacation', 'Groundhog Day'. These films are the touchstones of our lives. I interviewed him when I was 16 years old for my high school radio station, and he could not have been more gracious and hilarious.
"I looked up to him as a director but even more so as a man. We hired him to play Seth's father in Knocked Up because we all saw him as the dream dad -- funny, warm and wise. Harold was one of the nicest people I have ever met and he inspired countless people to go into comedy. His brilliant work will make people happy forever."
Sigourney Weaver also said in a statement: "Working with Harold on 'Ghostbusters' was one of the happiest experiences of my life. He was amazingly talented, kind and generous and always came up with these stealthy and incredibly funny lines. His movies are so brilliant, and Harold was so low key about it all. It's a huge loss."
Need reminding Of Harold's great work? You can watch the trailer for 'Ghostbusters' below: