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Harold Ramis of 'Ghostbusters' and 'Groundhog Day' fame dead at 69

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Harold Ramis
Harold Ramis

Harold Ramis, known best for his portrayal of Egon Spengler in the Ghostbusters films and as the filmmaker behind several beloved comedies, has died at the age of 69. Ramis died due to complications stemming from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that he began battling in 2010. The Chicago Tribune reports that Ramis at one point had to relearn to walk as a result of the disease, which "involves swelling of the blood vessels." His health again took a turn for the worse when he suffered a relapse of the vasculitis in 2011.

After getting his start with Chicago's famous Second City improv troupe, Ramis went on to establish a highly successful career in Hollywood. He co-wrote National Lampoon's Animal House and went on to scribe films including Meatballs and Caddyshack (which marked his directorial debut). Ramis co-wrote the screenplay to Ghostbusters with Dan Akroyd; the pair would also work together on the sequel. As for his work in the director's chair, Ramis may best be known for Groundhog Day, the 1993 comedy classic starring Bill Murray.