Harold Ramis, the filmmaker, writer and actor best known for helming the beloved Bill Murray comedy “Groundhog Day” and starring opposite the actor in the “Ghostbusters” movies, died early today at age 69. According to reports, he passed away due to a rare disease involving the swelling of blood vessels.
A BAFTA Award winner for his “Groundhog Day” screenplay, Ramis got his start in comedy working for Playboy Magazine as their joke editor, and then joining Chicago’s famed Second City Improvisational Theater Troupe. He was one of the original performers and writers on “SCTV.” He would go on to write and perform with other Second City graduates, including Murray and John Belushi, who’s career he helped catapult with the release of “Animal House,” which he co-wrote.
Ramis wrote the comedies “Ghostbusters,” “Stripes” and his directorial debut “Caddyshack.” He followed his first feature with another zany comedy, “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” and released a number of comedies in its wake including “Multiplicity, “Analyze This” and its sequel “Analyze That,” and “Bedazzled.” For TV, Ramis directed four episodes of NBC’s “The Office.”
Read Indiewire’s obituary here.