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Actor, Director and Writer Harold Ramis Dies at 69

Popular actor, writer and director Harold Ramis died at the age of 69 on Monday. Ramis, known for his work in “Ghostbusters,” “Groundhog Day” and “Analyze This,” died of complications from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, according to CNN.

Ramis battled the condition for four years. Ramis died at his home.

Ramis was a veteran of the Second City comedy troupe, a writer for “SCTV,” was a writer on the scripts for “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (1978), “Caddyshack” (1980), “Stripes” (1981), “Ghostbusters” (1984), “Groundhog Day” (1993) and “Analyze This” (1999).

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In a statement, Bill 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 movies Ramis directed include “Caddyshack,” “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983), “Groundhog Day,” “Analyze This.”

His acting credits include “Stripes,” Dr. Egon Spengler in “Ghostbusters” and a doctor in “As Good as It Gets” (1997).

On Facebook, “Ghostbusters” co-star Dan Aykroyd wrote, “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.”

The disease that led to the death of Ramis, Vasculitis, occurs when the human body’s immune system attacks itself. The blood vessels become inflamed, cutting off flow the of the blood partially or completely.

“Basically, the arteries can be leaking, they can be blocked or broken, and that all causes problems,” said Dr. Peter Merkel, a rheumatologist and director of the Penn Vasculitis Center at the University of Pennsylvania medical school. “If you interrupt the blood supply, whatever organ or tissue is being supplied downstream is unhappy.”

“We have some hints for most types of vasculitis,” Merkel said. “Drugs or medications can cause it. Some infections can lead to vasculitis, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C. But for the majority of patients of vasculitis, we don’t know the cause. We’re doing a lot of research to try to find it out.”

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