American actor, director and writer Harold Ramis has passed away, reports the Chicago Tribune. According to the newspaper, Ramis died at 12:53 a.m. from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels. He was 69. His wife Erica Mann Ramis said he was surrounded by family when he died.
The Tribune added that Ramis's serious health struggles began in May 2010 with an infection that led to complications related to the autoimmune disease. Ramis had to relearn to walk but suffered a relapse of the vaculitis in late 2011.
Ramis's best-known acting roles were as Egon Spengler in the Ghostbusters films and Russell Ziskey in Stripes, both of which he co-wrote. As a writer/director, his films included comedies Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, and Analyze This.
Ramis's credits also include National Lampoon's Animal House, Meatballs, National Lampoon's Vacation, Stuart Saves His Family, Multiplicity, Bedazzled, Analyze That, The Ice Harvest, "The Office" and Year One.