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Tuesday February 25, 2014 7:50 am

Harold Ramis Dies

Harold RamisGhostbusters star Harold Ramis has died at the age of 69.

The actor and director - best known for his role as Egon Spengler in the 1984 comedy, which he also wrote, with Dan Aykroyd - passed away in the early hours of yesterday morning after suffering autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis for a number of years.

Although he is best remembered on-screen for his roles in Ghostbusters and its 1989 sequel, Harold had been a leading figure in comedy since the 70s, directing Caddyshack, Groundhog Day and National Lampoon's Vacation. He also co-wrote the iconic 1978 film National Lampoon's Animal House, and later 1999s Analyze This and 2002s Analyze That, starring Robert De Niro, which he also directed.

Harold continued to act in recent years, with parts in Knocked Up, Airheads and Oscar-winner As Good As it Gets and he had also directed episodes of the US version of The Office for network NBC.

Harold had been a member of improvisation group Second City in his native Chicago, where he met John Belushi and Bill Murray, whom he would later go on to work closely with.

Harold said his work had been inspired by the Marx brothers and a job he briefly held working at a mental institution in Missouri: "It prepared me for when I went out to Hollywood to work with actors. And not just with actors. It was good training for just living in the world."

Harold is survived by his wife, Erica Mann Ramis, their two sons, Julian and Daniel as well as his daughter, Violet Ramis, with former spouse Anne Plotkin.

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