Harold Ramis -- a star of the comedy classic Ghostbusters who is also known for writing and directing Caddyshack and Groundhog Day -- has died at the age of 69.
Ramis died in Chicago early Monday morning surrounded by family members, his wife Erica Mann Ramis told
the Chicago Tribune
. She said he died from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels.
Ramis starred as Dr. Egon Spengler in the 1984 comedy blockbuster Ghostbusters, which also starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver, and also in the 1989 sequel.
Among other credits during his long Hollywood career were (writing) National Lampoon's Animal House, Stripes (which he also co-starred in), and (directing) Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation, Groundhog Day and Analyze This.
Ramis is survived by his wife Erica, their two sons, Julian and Daniel, as well as a daughter from his first marriage to Anne Plotkin, Violtet Ramis.
Aykroyd was among the stars reacting to Ramis' death.
Murray told The Hollywood Reporter
in a statement: "Harold Ramis and I together did the National Lampoon show off-Broadway, Meatballs
and Groundhog Day
. He earned his keep on this planet. God bless him."
Comedian Patton Oswalt responded via Twitter.