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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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tqarttx February 25 2014 at 9:50 AM

Guest?! That's Catherine O'Hara! sheesh.

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topoff February 25 2014 at 9:48 AM

I am saddened by the loss of Harold Ramis, but feel that it is still necessary to correct an error. In both of the photographs of Mr. Ramis at the Comic Relief Benefit in March of 1986, he is accompanied by Martin Short and an unidentified woman, who is referred to as a "guest" in one picture. This woman is Catherine O'Hara, a fellow SCTV alum of Mr. Ramis, and talented comic actress. She is just as noteworthy as Mr. Short, who is correctly identified both times.

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fliingv February 25 2014 at 9:41 AM

very sad to hera this. with his demise, there will be no Ghostbusters 3!

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aende83513 February 25 2014 at 9:31 AM

He also wrote "Groundhog Day" a wonderful, clever screenplay.

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explorerruss February 25 2014 at 9:21 AM

He also played a bit roll in "As Good As It Gets" with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.

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See ya round February 25 2014 at 9:01 AM

RIP. I'm not into comedy at all, never was ... didn't watch SNL, didn't see Ghostbusters, Stripes, Caddy Shak or Meatballs but I did see Analyze This. Sad when anyone dies, especially from autoimmune diseases or cancer or any of the many ailments we have no cure for.

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cwr4586 February 25 2014 at 8:47 AM

A truly funny man and he will be missed. It is a shame that the writer of this article did not fact check what he wrote. He lists all the SNL stars as Second City alums. Second City TV (SCTV) had its own great cast: Harold Ramis, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Eugene Levy, et. al.

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CHOCOLATE February 25 2014 at 8:34 AM

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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gary February 25 2014 at 8:19 AM

he was one of the good ones

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Jack February 25 2014 at 8:06 AM

what a pity, he was a rare bird for sure! will miss him!

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