"Ghostbusters" actor-director dies

Harold Ramis, an actor, writer and director specializing in comedy is deceased.

25 Feb - Actor, writer and director Harold Ramis recently died at the age of 69 due to complications arising from his vasculitis, and is survived by his wife Erica and two sons, Julian and Daniel.

Ramis leaves behind long list of credits, having written enduring comedies like "National Lampoon's Animal House", which, upon its 1978 release, catapulted the film career of John Belushi; "Stripes" and "Ghostbusters" (in which Ramis also co-starred). He also directed cult classics like "Caddyshack", "National Lampoon's Vacation", "Groundhog Day" and "Analyze This."

More recently he directed episodes of NBC's "The Office", which ended its run in 2013.

Harold Ramis as Egon Spengler in "Ghostbusters".

Ramis's comedies were often known to be slightly anarchic and silly, but they were also cerebral and iconic. His work has inspired and led a generation of comedic actors and filmmakers such as Judd Apatow ("The 40-Year-Old Virgin," "Knocked Up,"), Jay Roach ("Meet The Parents," the "Austin Powers" movies), Peter Farrelly ("There's Something About Mary," "Dumb And Dumber"), Jake Kasdan ("Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story," "Orange County"), and Adam Sandler.

"I always thought he was a very talented writer who always had a very perceptive and intelligent point of view about the material. He managed to get the people to speak in a realistic way but still found something funny in their voices," said "National Lampoon" producer Ivan Reitman about the late icon.

Ramis had gone through serious health struggles, which began in May 2010 with an infection that led to complications related to autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis. Ramis then lost the ability to walk. He relearnt how to do so, but suffered a relapse of the vasculitis in late 2011, up until he passed.

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