Harold Ramis Dies At 69

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February 24, 2014 | 1:00pm EST

Ghostbusters star Harold Ramis has died at the age of 69.
The actor and filmmaker passed away early on Monday following a battle with rare blood disease autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Ramis started out as a playwright in college, honing his skills by penning parodies. He joined the Second City improvisational comedy group, where he met John Belushi and Ghostbusters co-star Bill Murray.
The trio went on to work together on the New York-based radio show The National Lampoon Radio Hour in the early 1970s and Ramis’ work on the program helped him land a job as a co-writer of the 1978 comedy film, National Lampoon’s Animal House, which starred Belushi.
He and Murray became frequent collaborators, and Ramis served as writer/director on their hit movies Caddyshack and Groundhog Day. He also wrote and directed Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal’s 1999 comedy Analyze This.
As an actor, Ramis was perhaps best known for his role as Egon Spengler in 1984’s Ghostbusters, while he also played Russell Ziskey in another Murray collaboration, 1981’s Stripes.