News

Harold Ramis dead at 69

Harold Ramis dead at 69

HAROLD RAMIS: Shown in this scene from the 1984 movie "Ghostbusters" are Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, center, and Harold Ramis. Ramis co-wrote the movie. Photo: Associated Press

haroldramis
Harold Ramis in 2009, celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Second City.

Harold Ramis, best known for his role as Egon Spengler in 1984’s hit “Ghostbusters,” has died at the age of 69.

The actor and filmmaker passed away early on Monday following a battle with rare blood disease autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Ramis started out as a playwright in college, honing his skills by penning parodies. He joined the Second City improvisational comedy group, where he met John Belushi and “Ghostbusters” co-star Bill Murray.

The trio went on to work together on the New York-based radio show “The National Lampoon Radio Hour” in the early 1970s and Ramis’ work on the program helped him land a job as a co-writer of the 1978 comedy film, “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” which starred Belushi.

PHOTOS: 2014 Notable Death 

He and Murray became frequent collaborators, and Ramis served as writer/director on their hit movies “Caddyshack” and “Groundhog Day.” He also wrote and directed Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal’s 1999 comedy “Analyze This”.

As an actor, Ramis was perhaps best known for his role as Egon Spengler in 1984’s “Ghostbusters,” while he also played Russell Ziskey in another Murray collaboration, 1981’s “Stripes.”

Tributes pour in for Harold Ramis

Hollywood stars Jon Fabreau, Seth MacFarlane, Elijah Wood and Eli Roth are among the celebrities leading the tributes to Ramis following his death on Monday.

Ramis’ death stunned celebrity fans and friends, who have flooded Twitter with touching tributes.

Actor/director Favreau writes, “No no not Harold Ramis. Worked for him years ago. He was the real deal. Growing up, his work changed my life. He will be missed”, while Roth tweets, “Oh no, Harold Ramis died. One of my filmmaking heroes. Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day… So sad.”

Meanwhile, British comedian Stephen Fry hailed Ramis as “a comedy hero”, while Scrubs star Zach Braff credited the late funnyman with inspiring him to pursue a career in showbusiness, writing: “If you’re my age and got into comedy, Harold Ramis was one of the reasons. Life is fast and over too soon.”

Patton Oswalt, “Karate Kid” star Ralph Macchio, Eliza Dushku, Rashida Jones and Mark Hoppus from Blink-182 have also tweeted their shock and sadness following the tragic news.

Recent Headlines

3 hours ago in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: May 3

dollyparton

A look back at some of the biggest headlines in Hollywood history.

14 hours ago in Viral Videos

The cicadas are coming …

24-overlay

Billions of cicadas will soon emerge after spending 17 years underground and they have a lot of catching up to do.

14 hours ago in Entertainment

Too much ice in your Starbucks?

starbucks265305906988

A federal lawsuit claims Starbucks regularly overfills its cold drinks with ice instead of using the advertised amount of coffee or other liquid in its plastic cups.

19 hours ago in Sports, Viral Videos

It’s not ‘Regulators:’ Warren G butchers ‘Ball Game’

20-overlay-1

WATCH: The rapper messed up the first line and sang off-key.

21 hours ago in Music

Dixie Chicks adding 9 more dates to tour

maguiredixiechicks693363152099

The Grammy-winning country group starts the tour on June 1 in Cincinnati and wraps on Oct. 10 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.