Harold Ramis, the brain behind such classic comedy films as Groundhog Day, Stripes and one of the most quoted comedies in history, Caddyshack, is dead at the age of 69. His wife, Erica Mann, confirmed Ramis died from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels.
Though most moviegoers know him best from his role as the brainy Dr. Egon Spengler in the Ghostbusters franchise, Ramis’ behind-the-scenes work was the true gift he gave to the world of comedy. Before co-writing Ghostbusters, Ramis penned Animal House – the movie on which just about every contemporary party or college comedy is inspired – as well as Meatballs, Caddyshack and Stripes, all of which helped launch Bill Murray’s movie career.
“His creativity, compassion, intelligence, humor and spirit will be missed by all who knew and loved him,” read a statement from Ramis’ family. In addition to his wife, Ramis is survived by his sons Julian and Daniel, Daughter Violet and two grandchildren. We highly suggest you check out the Chicago Tribune’s full obituary on Ramis.
Check out the video below, for which Ramis was interviewed. It was part of American Storytellers, originally released in 2002.