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Harold Ramis dead at 69; comedy filmmaker's movies included 'Ghostbusters'

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On Feb. 24, 2014, actor/director/screenwriter Harold Ramis died from complications from vasculitis at his Chicago-area home. He was 69. The Associated Press reports that Chris Day, a spokesman for United Talent Agency (which represented Ramis), announced Ramis' death, and said that Ramis was surrounded by family and friends at the time of his passing. Vasculitis is an auto-immune disease that causes inflammation and damage to blood vessels.

Ramis, an alum of the comedy troupe Second City, did several movies with other Second City alumni, such as Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. Ramis co-wrote "Animal House," "Ghostbusters," "Ghostbusters II," "Meatballs," "Caddyshack," "Stripes" and "Groundhog Day." Ramis co-starred in "Ghostbusters," "Ghostbusters II," "Stripes" and "Groundhog Day." As a movie director, his credits included "Caddyshack," Groundhog Day," "Analyze This" and "Analyze That." Ramis' last movie was 2009's "Year One," the Jack Black/Michael Cera film that Ramis co-starred in, co-wrote and directed.

After Ramis' death, Aykroyd issued a statement that he is "deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend ... May he now get the answers he was always seeking."

Ramis' passing means that "Ghostbusters 3" might never be made. Ramis had been working on a "Ghostbusters 3" screenplay, but Murray reportedly rejected the screenplay and declined to participate in the movie, which was still in development.

In the months before Ramis' death, "Ghostbusters" director Ivan Reitman said in many interviews that he, Ramis and Aykroyd were still committed to making "Ghostbusters 3," but a script has not yet been approved by a studio. But with Ramis' passing and without Murray's participation, the movie is unlikely to be made. If there is another "Ghostbusters" movie ever made, it will probably be a remake with different actors starring in the movie.

Ramis is survived by his wife, Erica; sons Julian and Daniel; daughter Violet; and two grandchildren.

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