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'Ghostbusters' actor Harold Ramis dies at 69

CHICAGO (AP) -- Comedy actor, director and writer Harold Ramis, best known for his roles in movies such as "Ghostbusters" and "Stripes," died Monday at his suburban Chicago home after a four-year battle with an autoimmune disease, his talent agency said.

Ramis, 69, died early Monday morning of complications from vasculitis, which causes inflammation and damage to blood vessels, said Chris Day, a spokesman at United Talent Agency. Ramis was surrounded by family and friends.

Ramis was a key factor in some of the biggest blockbuster comedies in the 1970s and 1980s.

Harold Ramis, 'Ghostbusters' Star, Dies At 69

He co-wrote "Animal House," which starred fellow Second City alum John Belushi. He teamed up with Second City alums Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd on "Ghostbusters," in which Ramis co-starred and helped write. He also co-wrote "Meatballs" and "Caddy Shack," both of which starred Murray.

"The best comedy touches something that's timeless and universal in people," Ramis told The Associated Press in a 2009 story about the 50th anniversary of Second City. "When you hit it right, those things last."

More recently, he directed "Analyze This," starring Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro.

Aykroyd issued a statement Monday, saying he was "deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend ... May he now get the answers he was always seeking."

Ramis was born Nov. 21, 1944 in Chicago. He is survived by his wife, Erica Ramos; sons Julian and Daniel; daughter, Violet, and two grandchildren.

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carolmarin February 24 2014 at 1:42 PM

He was a great one. As an actor and writer. But especially as a human being.

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phoefler February 24 2014 at 1:45 PM

I am mortified! Harold Ramis was a comic genius. He will be soulfully missed.

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Bruce Chapple February 24 2014 at 1:45 PM

What a sad day.. This man made millions laugh
millions of times. Will always think of him when
I watch his movies in the future.. My Condolences
to his family

Flag Reply +1 rate up
gicprod February 24 2014 at 1:45 PM

First of all, that's Catherine O'Hara in the picture, which everyone should know.....second of all, how sad. If only for writing and directing "Groundhog Day", he'd be remembered as a great filmmaker. But his body of work is huge and will last......

Flag Reply +4 rate up
rleminger February 24 2014 at 1:44 PM

I feel very badly for his family. He was a great actor. May he rest in peace.

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lvkabily February 24 2014 at 1:44 PM

R I P

Flag Reply +1 rate up
batmanh February 24 2014 at 1:44 PM

It is a very sad day for the Animal House Alumni . . . he will be missed, dearly

Flag Reply +1 rate up
eddolfan February 24 2014 at 1:46 PM

Someone else gone who made me smile, laugh, or think. Thank you, Harold.

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dragondancer1814 February 24 2014 at 1:43 PM

Safe passage, Mr. Ramis! Your movies and roles have entertained generations, and your sense of humor was TIMELESS! What a shame such a cruel disease robbed this world of your genius far too soon! You will be missed by many, but as long as your movies live on, your spirit and gift will never truly die.

We comedy-lovers salute you!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Butterfly February 24 2014 at 1:45 PM

What a sad day for his devoted fans. a true comedic light has gone out in our world. bring him back is all i can say. what are we supposed to do now for real comedy? harold, you will be one missed fellow that is for sure.

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