If you’ve ever had a sick day and comforted yourself by watching great movies like Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Animal House, Stripes, or even SCTV, bad news: Harold Ramis, the man behind them all, just died at the age of 69. Chicago Tribune reports …
Harold Ramis was one of Hollywood’s most successful comedy filmmakers when he moved his family from Los Angeles back to the Chicago area in 1996. His career was still thriving, with Groundhog Day acquiring almost instant classic status upon its 1993 release and 1984’s Ghostbusters ranking among the highest-grossing comedies of all time, but the writer-director wanted to return to the city where he’d launched his career as a Second City performer.
“There’s a pride in what I do that other people share because I’m local, which in L.A. is meaningless; no one’s local,” Ramis said upon the launch of the first movie he directed after his move, the 1999 mobster-in-therapy comedy Analyze This, another hit. “It’s a good thing. I feel like I represent the city in a certain way.”
Ramis, a longtime North Shore resident, was surrounded by family when he died at 12:53 a.m. from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels, his wife Erica Mann Ramis said. He was 69.
Rest in peace, Harold Ramis. You did the impossible: You wrote a comedy masterpiece, and then you wrote another one and another one and another one.