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December 2, 2015 / 20 Kislev, 5776
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Harold Ramis, Writer of Popular Low-Brow Comedy Films, Dead at 69

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The actor and director Harold Ramis, perhaps best known for his acting role in the 1984 film “Ghost Busters,” died at his home in Chicago early Monday, Feb. 23. He was 69 years old.

Ramis wrote, directed and/or starred in some of the most popular low-brow comedies of the late 1970s  – 1990s. He wrote “Animal House” (1978), starring John Belushi, “Meatballs” (1979), starring Bill Murray, “Caddyshack”(1980), starring Chevy Chase, and “Ghostbusters” (1984), in which he, Bill Murray and Dan Ackroyd starred. The three reprised their roles in Ghostbusters II (1989).

Ramis’s 1993 film “Groundhog Day” became a cult film. The film, about a day that is replayed endlessly, starred Bill Murray and Andie McDowell. His 1999 film, “Analyze This,” featured Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal.

According to the former agency representing Ramis, United Talent Agency, the actor’s death was caused by complications related to autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, CNN reported.

Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels, arteries, veins or capillaries, according to the Vasculitis Foundation. The inflammation eventually leads to the body’s tissues and organs being deprived of sufficient blood, thereby resulting in their damage and sometimes death.

Ramis was born to Jewish parents, but whether he practiced any religion as an adult was not readily discernible.


About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the U.S. correspondent for The Jewish Press. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

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4 Responses to “Harold Ramis, Writer of Popular Low-Brow Comedy Films, Dead at 69”

  1. Mr. Ramis was a graduate of Washington University in St.Louis. His degree was in English Literature.

  2. Ken Manning says:

    He wouldn't have been rich and famous if it wasn't for his Jewish name

  3. Ari M. Eden says:

    Yeah, writing, directing, and starring in classic films had nothing to do with it, right?

  4. Ghostbusters was not a low-brow film, thank you. And aside from Ghostbusters 2, that's not a bad body of work.

    Oh, and compared to Ken Manning, Animal House and Caddyshack seem very sophisticated now.

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