Comedic actor, director, writer, and legend Harold Ramis passes away at 69

Films like Ghostbusters, Stripes, and Groundhog Day long ago earned their indelible places in film history, and with them cemented Harold Ramis role as one of our most beloved writer/directors. He passed away early this morning as a result of complications stemming from a rare blood vessel disease.

He leaves behind, of course, a hugely admired body of work that includes so many classics, it would probably be easier to tell you the great comedies of the 80s and 90s with which he wasn’t involved. Writing credits alone for Ramis include Animal House, Stripes, Caddyshack, and Ghostbusters, plus director credits for National Lampoon’s Vacation, Groundhog Day, and Analyze This.

Ramis passed away as a result of complications from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, which swells blood vessels. He had been battling serious health issues since mid-2010, when an infection aggravated the complications related to his autoimmune disease. He eventually had to relearn to walk and regain other motor skills, but his vasculitis reappeared again in 2011. 

Since he passed away, fans and friends have begun sending out condolences via Twitter:

Aside from his accomplished career, Ramis is survived by his sons Daniel and Julian Ramis, and his wife, Erica Mann Ramis. Friends called him a “campfire that we all gathered around for light and warmth and knowledge.”

And, in some small way, that’s what we did too. That process, for what it’s worth, will likely always continue. 

[Chicago Tribune]