Comedy legend Harold Ramis, best known for his roles in such classic films as 'Ghostbusters' and 'Stripes,' died Monday morning from complications related to auto-immune inflammatory vasculitis, a disease he battled for four years. He was 69 years old.
The Chicago-born Ramis got his start in comedy at the famed Second City improv comedy theatre in his hometown, where he would meet his friends, and frequent collaborators, Bill Murray, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. When the comedy troupe launched its landmark TV series, 'SCTV,' in the late '70s, Ramis was the show's first head writer, as well as a regular cast member.
Ramis' big Hollywood break came in 1978 when he co-wrote 'National Lampoon's Animal House,' starring Belushi. He would go on to co-write and star in some of the most beloved comedies of the '80s, including 'Stripes,' 'Ghostbusters,' and 'Ghostbusters II.'
Throughout his career, Ramis would mix his screenwriting, acting, producing and directing roles. Probably everything you laughed at, Ramis was apart of. Love 'Groundhog Day'? Ramis wrote and directed that. 'Analyze That'? Yep, that was Ramis, too. As were the comedy classics, 'Caddyshack,' and 'Meatballs.' In recent years, Ramis also directed four episodes of NBC's 'The Office' and the film 'Year One.'
Ramis is survived by his wife, Erica Mann Ramis, his children Julian, Daniel and Violet and two grandchildren.