Ghostbusters Star Harold Ramis Dead at 69

Famed actor and director was behind hits like Caddyshack, Groundhog Day

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 24, 2014 12:34 PM CST

(Newser) – Egon Spengler has given up the ghostbusting. Actor and director Harold Ramis died just after midnight today, due to complications from a rare disease, his wife tells the Chicago Tribune. He was 69. Ramis was probably best known for his aforementioned role in Ghostbusters, which he also co-wrote, but his fingerprints are all over a host of other beloved comedies; he directed Caddyshack and Groundhog Day, co-wrote Animal House, and starred in Stripes, among others, according to IMDB.

Ramis had been sick since 2010 with autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that causes blood vessels to swell and forced Ramis to re-learn how to walk. "He was the person that I wanted to be when I was growing up," says Judd Apatow, who cast Ramis as Seth Rogen's dad in Knocked Up. "His work is the reason why so many of us got into comedy."

In this Dec. 12, 2009 file photo, actor and director Harold Ramis laughs as he walks the Red Carpet  to celebrate The Second City's 50th anniversary  in Chicago.
In this Dec. 12, 2009 file photo, actor and director Harold Ramis laughs as he walks the Red Carpet to celebrate The Second City's 50th anniversary in Chicago.   (Associated Press)
Harold Ramis is seen as Ghostbuster Egon Spengler in this YouTube screenshot.
Harold Ramis is seen as Ghostbuster Egon Spengler in this YouTube screenshot.   (YouTube)
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