By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, TODAY
(NBC) - Actor and director Harold Ramis, who delighted audiences in comedies such as "Ghostbusters" and "Stripes" and who was the first head writer on the groundbreaking "SCTV," died Monday at age 69, NBC News has confirmed.
Ramis died from complications related to auto-immune inflammatory vasculitis, a condition he had battled for the past four years, United Talent Agency said in a statement. The agency said that Ramis "passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by family and friends in his Chicago area home, where he and wife, Erica Mann Ramis, have lived since 1996."
READ MORE | Harold Ramis on IMDB
The Chicago-born Ramis was as acclaimed a writer and director of comedies as he was an actor. He wrote four of the comedies listed on the American Film Institute's 100 Funniest Movies, writing "Ghostbusters," Groundhog Day," "National Lampoon's Animal House" and "Caddyshack." He also wrote "Meatballs," "Stripes," and "Back to School."
In a 2004 profile of Ramis, Tad Friend of the New Yorker wrote, " What Elvis did for rock and Eminem did for rap, Harold Ramis did for attitude: he mass-marketed the sixties to the seventies and eighties. He took his generation's anger and curiosity and laziness and woolly idealism and gave it a hyper-articulate voice. He wised it up."
Fans and friends remembered Ramis on social media. Ramis was married twice and is survived by wife Erica, two sons, and a daughter, and two grandchildren.