Harold Ramis dies

Ghostbusters star was 69.

by Jennie Kermode

Harold Ramis as Egon Spengler
Harold Ramis as Egon Spengler

The actor, writer and director Harold Ramis, star of Ghostbusters, has died at the age of 69 from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis.

Ramis played Dr Egon Spengler, collector of spores, molds and fungus, in Ghostbusters, which he also co-wrote. His other credits as screenwriter include Groundhog Day, Caddyshack, Animal House and Analyze That. He also produced and directed several films, and even recorded songs for film soundtracks.

Starting out in Chicago, he spent time as a teacher and mental health worker, writing plays on the side before securing a job as a joke writer at Playboy. He went on to join the likes of Bill Murray, John Belushi and Christopher Guest on the National Lampoon radio show and revue before moving into film.

Ramis first became ill four years ago with the rare condition, in which the body's own immune system attacks blood vessels, causing inflammation that can stop blood from flowing properly. He was seriously disabled by the disease and his health had been precarious ever since.

"His creativity, compassion, intelligence, humor and spirit will be missed by all who knew and loved him," said his agent.

Ramis is survived by his wife Erica, children Julian, Daniel and Violet and two grandchildren.

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