Director, actor and writer Harold Ramis, a comedy legend, died today at age 69 of complications related to an auto-immune inflammatory vasculitis.
Ramis began his career at the beloved comedy venue Second City and appeared on the TV version, SCTV. He wrote the script for National Lampoon’s Animal House, starring fellow Second City alum John Belushi. He also wrote Meatballs for another Second City alum Bill Murray.
His first directing gig was the Chevy Chase helmed Caddyshack. He also appeared in Stripes, Ghostbusters, and Knocked Up, and directed the fan-favorite 1993 comedy Groundhog Day. His last film was Year One starring Jack Black and Michael Cera.
Murray released a statement this morning saying, among other glowing praises, that Ramis “earned his keep on this planet.” Ramis’ death is also being mourned by comedians, collaborators, and comedy fans on Twitter, and his movies being paid tribute.
I’m now answering your questions on Reddit. Someone asked me to share my thoughts on Harold Ramis. Here they are: https://t.co/zXjB6hrNlK
RIP Harold Ramis. His work inspired me to do what I do. Animal House, Meatballs, Ghostbusters, Stripes, Caddyshack, Groundhog’s Day, SCTV.
— Michael Showalter (@mshowalter) February 24, 2014
No Harold Ramis, no comedy as we know it today. #RIPHaroldRamis
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) February 24, 2014