Harold Ramis, the actor, producer, writer and director known for some truly classic comedies, has passed away at the age of 69. Ramis lost his four-year battle with auto-immune inflammatory vasculitis, dying at his home in Chicago.
Ramis directed and co-wrote Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, Analyze This, Analayze That and Bedazzled. Not to mention the fact that he co-wrote and starred in the classic supernatural-comedy that is Ghostbusters.
Reactions to Ramis’ passing are pouring in.
Billy Crystal tweeted: “Sad to hear my friend Harold Ramis passed away. A brilliant, funny, actor and director. A wonderful husband and dad. Big loss to us all.”
Writer/director Judd Apatow, who cast Ramis in 2007′s Knocked Up, has said: “Harold Ramis made almost every movie which made me want to become a comedy director. Animal House, Stripes, Ghostbusters, [National Lampoon’s] Vacation, Groundhog Day. These films are the touchstones of our lives.”
Ramis’ long-time friend and collaborator Dan Aykroyd had this to say: “Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend, co-writer/performer and teacher Harold Ramis. May he now get the answers he was always seeking.”
Ramis may be gone, but he leaves behind a body of work that will always be loved and cherished.
Here’s a look at his performance in the great 1981 comedy Stripes, which starred Bill Murray and was co-written by Ramis himself.