Ghostbusters writer and star Harold Ramis passed away yesterday at the age of 69, and this marks another very sad day in the world of film. Ramis was a hugely talented and immensely popular actor, writer and director, and it is with great sadness that we bring you this news.
According to MSN, Ramis died overnight of complications from auto-immune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that causes swelling of the blood vessels. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends at his Chicago-area home, where he returned to live in 1996 after 20 years in Los Angeles, according to a statement from UTA, which repped him.
As an actor, Ramis will forever be remembered as Ghostbuster Dr Egon Spengler, but his career went well beyond the genius of writing and starring in the Ivan Reitman directed classic.
Ramis went on to appear in films such as Knocked Up and As Good As It Gets, but made a more impressive career out of writing and directing. For me the high point of his career, after Ghostbusters, was writing and directing the superb comedy Groundhog Day in 1993, which starred his Ghostbusting pal Bill Murray.
With Caddyshack and National Lampoon’s Vacation starting his career as a director, Ramis followed Groundhog Day with comedy greats such as Analyze This, Analyze That, Multiplicity and Bedazzled (come on, Elizabeth Hurley as a seductive Devil, whats not to like!). He also directed the superb crime/comedy thriller The Ice Harvest and 2009’s adventure comedy Year One.
The movie world is grieving today at the loss of a true great, and Ghostbusters stars Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, plus director Ivan Reitman have paid tribute to the loss of their colleague and friend.
In a statement to TIME magazine, Murray said: “Harold Ramis and I together did the National Lampoon Show off Broadway, Meatballs, Stripes, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day. He earned his keep on this planet. God bless him.”
”The world has lost a wonderful, truly original, comedy voice with the passing of Harold Ramis,” Reitman said. ‘‘He possessed the most agile mind I’ve ever witnessed. He always had the clearest sense of what was funny and how to create something in a new clever way… Harold had an extraordinary impact on my career and I loved him like a brother.”
Aykroyd took to Twitter to express his sadness: “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.”