One of Hollywood's biggest talents is no longer with us. Monday, multiple news outlets confirmed that Harold Ramis has died. He was 69 years old. According to TMZ, Ramis passed away early this morning in his Chicago home.
The cause of death stems from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease involving the swelling of blood vessels. Even though he had a successful film career, he chose to move back to his hometown of Chicago in the mid-'90s. It was there that he spent his final moments surrounded by family.
Not only was Ramis an actor, he also wrote and directed several iconic films. He penned Caddyshack, Stripes, Animal House and Groundhog Day. He also directed the latter as well as National Lampoon's Vacation and Analyze That. Perhaps Ramis' biggest claim to fame is Ghostbusters, a film he co-wrote and starred in alongside frequent collaborators Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd.
Ramis was rumored to be working on another Ghostbusters sequel at his time of death. He leaves behind a goldmine of classics that will endure for years to come. But the most important part of his legacy isn't work-related — it's his life as a man, not a celebrity.
Ramis started his career as a performer at the legendary Second City club. In 1999, its founder Bernie Sahlins said of the star (via the Chicago Tribune), "He's the least changed by success of anyone I know in terms of sense of humor, of humility, sense of self. He's the same Harold he was 30 years ago. He's had enormous success relatively, but none of it has gone to his head in any way."
Ramis is survived by his wife Erica, sons Julian and Daniel, daughter Violet and two grandchildren.
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