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Harold Ramis: Great comedy film director, dead at 69 (slide show)

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Harold Ramis, great comedic film director, has died an age 69. Ramis died from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis. According to the Chicago Tribune on Feb. 24, he died in Chicago early this morning.

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Ramis, a longtime North Shore resident, was surrounded by family when he died at 12:53 a.m. from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels, his wife Erica Mann Ramis said. He was 69.

Harold Ramis was rare triple threat in Hollywood. As an actor he appeared in some of the greatest film comedies of our lifetime. Ramis was in many films including "Stripes," "National Lampoon's Vacation" and "Groundhog Day." He wrote "National Lampoon's Animal House," "Meatballs," "Caddyshack," "Stripes," "Ghostbusters," "Groundhog Day," and "Analyze This" to name but a few. He also directed "Caddyshack," "Groundhog Day," "National Lampoon's Vacation," and "Analyze This."

Harold Ramis got his comedy start at "Second City" in Chicago in 1968. From 1976 through 1979 he moved on to "SCTV" ("Second City Television") as head writer and acted in many of the best-known skits on the show. His film career took off in 1978 when he started work on writing "National Lampoon's Animal House" after moving from Chicago to Los Angeles. He moved back to Chicago in 1996, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Some of the legendary kings of comedy Ramis worked with include Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, John Belushi, and Dan Akroyd to name but a few.

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