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Harold Ramis, 'Ghostbusters' star, dies from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis

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Comedian actor, writer and director Harold Ramis, best known for his role in the “Ghostbusters” movies and "Stripes"died at the age of 69.

It was reported Monday, that Ramis died from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a disease that causes swelling in the blood vessels.

The American College of Rheumatology says these vessels include arteries and veins. Vasculitis can result in poor blood flow to tissues throughout the body, such as the lungs, nerves and skin. Thus, vasculitis has a wide range of signs and symptoms (what you see and feel), such as:

Shortness of breath and cough
Numbness or weakness in a hand or foot
Red spots on the skin ("purpura"), lumps ("nodules") or sores ("ulcers")

On the other hand, vasculitis of the kidneys may produce no symptoms at first but is still a serious problem.

Vasculitis can be mild or disabling, or even lead to death. Patients can have one episode of vasculitis or have repeated episodes over several years. Most types of vasculitis are rare.

His agent said in a written statement, "His creativity, compassion, intelligence, humor and spirit will be missed by all who knew and loved him."

Ramis' breakthrough came when he co-wrote the blockbuster comedy "National Lampoon's Animal House." He went on to co-write "Stripes" (1981), "Ghostbusters" (1984) and "Ghostbusters II" (1989), films in which he also co-starred.

Ramis co-wrote and made his directorial debut with "Caddyshack" (1980), followed by "National Lampoon's Vacation" (1983).

He most recently directed episodes of “The Office.”

Ramis is survived by his wife, Erica Mann Ramis, and children Violet Stiel, Julian and Daniel Ramis. He also has two grandchildren.

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