Harold Ramis, Man Who Practically Invented Gross-Out Comedy, Dies at 69

Kiri Blakeley Heartbreaking

Harold Ramis has died. The prolific writer, director and actor died from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare inflammatory disease. He was 69. Ramis got his start with the famous Second City comedy troupe, and went on to direct huge hits such as Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation, Groundhog Day, and Analyze This.

Ramis's writing credits include some of Hollywood's most classic crass comedies, including the precursor to today's gross-out comedies, National Lampoon's Animal House, plus Ghostbusters, and Stripes. He also acted in numerous hit films. He's most recently known for directing episodes of The Office.

Director of Knocked Up and numerous other huge comedy hits, Judd Apatow, has credited Ramis with his career, saying he interviewed him for a radio show as a teen, and that he decided he wanted to grow up to be like him.

Despite being a comedy icon, Ramis always came across as the "straight man" -- the bespectacled, distinguished-looking nerd who somehow got caught up in the madness. His deadpan delivery was the perfect foil for more charismatic comedians like Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Dan Akroyd and Seth Rogen. I, for one, will always remember him as the "normal" ghost-chaser in Ghostbusters. Don't cross the streams!!

Some reaction on Twitter:

 

RIP, Harold Ramis.

What do you remember him for?

 

Image via movieclips/YouTube

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