Harold Ramis, Actor, Writer & Director Dies At 69 - Fox 2 News Headlines

Harold Ramis, Actor, Writer & Director Dies At 69

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Chicago, IL -

Why so young ?

Harold Ramis was quite simply a comedy genius.  I mean look at this track record: Animal House, Caddyshack ( his directorial debut) , Meatballs, Strips, Groundhog Day, Ghosbusters,and that's after spending time as the head writer for perhaps the funniest TV show in history: the late lamented SCTV. 

Ramis died at the relatively young age of 69 from an auto immune disease which apparently destroyed his blood vessels. 

Fortunately, if you want to look at it this way, it wasn't a shock and his family and friends were with him in his suburban Chicago home.  

Today, for reaction to this sad story,  I interviewed  Michael O'Keefe, a then 25 year old actor, largely unknown, who was cast as the ''earnest yet wisecracking caddie'' Danny Noonan back in 1980. 

He said he loved Harold Ramis and 99 % of the success of Caddyshack was due to him.  At the time, he said he thought  he got the part because he had a hot girlfriend and everyone wanted to have him there so he'd have her there.  Maybe.  He did say that it was a ''70's experience"  in every sense of the word, meaning there was a lot of drinking , drugs and things you wouldn't have wanted Harvey Levin to know about had he and TMZ been around then ( Thankfully it wasn't) .

He also said, and this was echoed today by Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and others, that Ramis was kind, humble, generous, and ,of course, funny. 

Everyone who can quote a line from one of his American classics will miss him but we're thankful he left his legacy of laughs behind.

PREVIOUSLY:

(FOX 11 / AP) An attorney for Harold Ramis says the actor has died.

Fred Toczek tells The Associated Press that Ramis died early Monday morning from complications of autoimmune inflammatory disease. He was 69.

Ramis is best known for his roles in the comedies "Ghostbusters" and "Stripes."

According to Biography.com, Ramis co-wrote "Ghostbusters," in which he appeared with fellow Second City alums Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray.

The website says he also co-wrote "National Lampoon's Animal House" and "Meatballs" and directed such films as "Caddyshack" and "Groundhog Day."

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