Harold Ramis Dead: Writer-Director Dies at 69

AP Photo/Jason DeCrow
Harold Ramis

The man behind comedy hits like "Animal House," "Caddyshack" and "Ghostbusters" died from complications related to autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis.

Comedy star Harold Ramis has died, his agency, United Talent, announced Monday.

The actor, writer and director died from complications related to autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a condition he battled for the past four years. He was 69.

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Ramis died Monday morning in his Chicago-area home, surrounded by family and friends.

Ramis is likely best known for his acting roles in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, both of which he co-wrote. He also co-wrote National Lampoon's Animal HouseStripes, Caddyshack and National Lampoon's Vacation, directing the latter two films. He co-wrote, produced and directed other comedy classics like Groundhog Day, Multiplicity and the Billy Crystal-Robert De Niro films Analyze This and Analyze That. He directed 2005's The Ice Harvest, starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton. Most recently he wrote, co-produced and directed 2009's Year One, starring Jack Black and Michael Cera.

"His creativity, compassion, intelligence, humor and spirit will be missed by all who knew and loved him," UTA said in a statement.

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Ramis was born in Chicago and earned his bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He got his start in comedy in 1969 at Chicago's famed Second City.

He was also involved with the long-rumored Ghostbusters III. Ramis won a BAFTA, American Comedy Award and British Comedy Award.

He is survived by his wife, Erica Mann Ramis, his sons, Julian and Daniel, daughter Violet, and two grandchildren.