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Harold Ramis, beloved comedian, actor and writer dies in Chicago at age 69

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Chicago native, Harold Ramis, has passed away on Mon., Feb. 24, 2014, as the Hollywood Reporter shared today. Ramis will forever be remembered as a faithful sidekick on screen in “Ghostbusters,” (you know you’re saying “Who ya gonna call?” right about now), but his true talents went far beyond acting.

Houston’s leading Alamo Draft House theatre has its very own “Ghostbusters Quote-Along” page, and they’ll supply the marshmallows as they proclaim:

It’s possible that GHOSTBUSTERS is the world’s only universally adored movie. If you don’t love it, you’re obviously not a human being. Sorry to be the one to break it to you.

For 50 years, Chicago’s Second City Improv Theatre located at 1616 N. Wells Street, has given the world of entertainment including many comics who starred on “Saturday Night Live,” including Bill Murray, and the late Gilda Radner and John Belushi.

Ramis was co-writer of the 1978 classic John Landis movie, “Animal House,” that broke John Belushi out of sketch comedy and into movies and gave teenagers a major helping of catch phrases and favorite scenes.

He was able to springboard that effort into multiple writing success, as head writer (and later supervising writer) on the absolutely hilarious “SCTV” show that gave “Saturday Night Live” (which featured quite a few Second City comic alums) a more than powerful run for audience and attention. Ramis was a primary comedy genius of the show, which launched even more actors whose comedy TV and film careers continue still today. That list includes Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Andrea Martin, Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, Joe Flaherty and the late John Candy. People have remembered warmly so many characters from those broadcasts, and Ramis is one of the major persons to thank for that.

One dynamic duo of comedy was Ramis paired with Bill Murray, who were responsible for the “Ghostbusters” series of movies, the “Caddyshack” franchise, and “Meatballs.” As an actor, Ramis gave a great performance in the 1981 film, “Stripes” and as co-writer, Ramis wrote so many of the moments that had you doubled over in your chair with laughter, courtesy of the deadpan dialogue delivered perfectly by Bill Murray and Harold Ramis.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that Ramis died today from “complications related to auto-immune inflammatory vasculitis, a condition he battled for the past four years.” A tribute message has been posted on the Second City web site by CEO & Executive Producer Andrew Alexander:

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of our dear friend and alumni, Harold Ramis. It is a great loss for his family and the film and entertainment communities. Our thoughts are with his wife Erica and their family.

"It is impossible to overstate the personal and professional influence that Harold Ramis has had on all of us at The Second City. He was a natural leader, a trusted friend and so generous with his own talent that he made everyone he ever worked with look like a genius. We are devastated to lose him so young but we were all enriched by the years we did get to partake of his particular brilliance." - Andrew Alexander, CEO & Executive Producer of The Second City

Funeral and memorial details are unknown at this time. We’ll post updates once details have been confirmed.

Now that Harold Ramis is gone, who ya gonna call?

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