Harold Ramis, 'Ghostbusters' actor, 'Groundhog Day' director dies at 69

Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:50pm EST
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By Patricia Reaney

(Reuters) - Comedy actor and director Harold Ramis, best known for films such as "Ghostbusters," "Groundhog Day" and "Caddyshack," died at his home in Chicago at the age of 69 of complications from a rare vascular disease, his agent said on Monday.

Ramis, who had suffered from the rare illness since 2010, passed away peacefully on Monday morning, surrounded by family members.

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

"His creativity, compassion, intelligence, humor and spirit will be missed by all who knew and loved him," his family said in a statement.

Friends, colleagues and co-stars of Ramis expressed their grief as news spread about his death.

"Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend, co-writer/performer and teacher Harold Ramis," tweeted actor Dan Aykroyd, who co-starred with Ramis in the 1984 film "Ghostbusters."

Ramis played Dr. Egon Spengler in the Ivan Reitman cult comedy "Ghostbusters," which also starred actor Bill Murray.

"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," Murray said in a statement.   Continued...

Actor/director Harold Ramis arrives for the premiere of "Year One" in New York in this June 15, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Stephen Chernin/Files