News / Arts & Entertainment

Actor/Director Harold Ramis, 69, Dies

FILE - Actor and director Harold Ramis walks the Red Carpet as he arrives to celebrate The Second City's 50th anniversary in Chicago, Dec. 12, 2009.
FILE - Actor and director Harold Ramis walks the Red Carpet as he arrives to celebrate The Second City's 50th anniversary in Chicago, Dec. 12, 2009.
Reuters
Comedy actor and director Harold Ramis, best known for films such as “Ghostbusters,” “Groundhog Day” and “Caddyshack,” died at his home in Chicago at the age of 69 of complications from a rare vascular disease, his agent said on Monday.
 
Ramis, who had suffered from the rare illness since 2010, passed away peacefully on Monday morning, surrounded by family members.
 
“I'm sad to say the news is true. He passed away from complications related to autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis,” said Chris Day, a spokesman for the United Talent Agency in Los Angeles.
 
“His creativity, compassion, intelligence, humor and spirit will be missed by all who knew and loved him,” his family said in a statement.
 
Friends, colleagues and co-stars of Ramis expressed their grief as news spread about his death.
 
“Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend, co-writer/performer and teacher Harold Ramis,” tweeted actor Dan Aykroyd, who co-starred with Ramis in the 1984 film “Ghostbusters.”
 
FILE - In an undated file photo, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, center, and Harold Ramis, right, appear in a scene from the 1984 movie "Ghostbusters".FILE - In an undated file photo, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, center, and Harold Ramis, right, appear in a scene from the 1984 movie "Ghostbusters".
x
FILE - In an undated file photo, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, center, and Harold Ramis, right, appear in a scene from the 1984 movie "Ghostbusters".
FILE - In an undated file photo, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, center, and Harold Ramis, right, appear in a scene from the 1984 movie "Ghostbusters".
Ramis played Dr. Egon Spengler in the Ivan Reitman cult comedy “Ghostbusters,” which also starred actor Bill Murray.
 
“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,” Murray said in a statement.
 
Director and actor Jon Favreau said Ramis would be missed.
 
“No, no, not Harold Ramis,” he tweeted. “He was the real deal. Growing up, his work changed my life.”
 
Actor Billy Crystal, who was directed by Ramis in the film “Analyze This,” described him as a brilliant and funny actor and director.
 
“Big loss to us all,” he tweeted.
 
A celebrated director, writer, actor and producer, Ramis grew up in Chicago and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis. He worked as an associate editor at Playboy Magazine before he got his start in comedy in 1969 with the city's famous Second City improvisational theater group.
 
He returned to Chicago in 1996 after 20 years in Los Angeles, and got his big break when he co-wrote the comedy hit, “National Lampoon's Animal House” in 1978.
 
Known for his dry wit, Ramis worked on other comedy scripts before making his directorial debut in 1980 with “Caddyshack,” followed three years later by “National Lampoon's Vacation.”
 
In 1993, he co-wrote, produced and directed “Groundhog Day,” about a weatherman, played by Bill Murray, who relives the same day over and over again.
 
Other films he co-wrote and directed include “Analyze This” in 1999, a comedy about a psychiatrist whose main patient is an insecure mobster. Starring Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal, it was followed two years later by a sequel, “Analyze That.”
 
Ramis received The American Comedy Award, the British Comedy Awards and a BAFTA award for screenwriting.
 
He is survived by his wife, Erica Mann Ramis, his sons Julian and Daniel, a daughter Violet and two grandchildren.

Error rendering storify.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Joe Taylor sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his distinction as New York’s “Subway Idol,” and how he beat out thousands for that title. Joe performs several songs from his new CD, “Anything’s Possible.”