Harold Ramis dies aged 69

Harold Ramis has died aged 69.

The writer/director/actor, most famous for playing Dr Egon Spengler in 1984's Ghostbusters , passed away in the early hours of this morning.

He was suffering from a rare disease called autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, which involves the swelling of the blood vessels.

As well as making his mark as loveable nerd Spengler, Ramis also directed time-loop comedy Groundhog Day , Analyse This and four episodes of the US version of The Office .

He started out in show business working as joke editor for Playboy magazine.

It was in 1974 that he joined The National Lampoon Radio Hour , honing his natural comedic talent by writing and performing sketches alongside the likes of John Belushi and Bill Murray.

That led to a collaboration with Ivan Reitman on National Lampoon's Animal House , which was the beginning of a professional relationship that saw Ramis also working with Reitman and Murray on Meatballs , Stripes and Ghostbusters .

No matter what the project, Ramis was much-loved for his unshakeable sense of humour.

Ramis died with his family around him in North Shore.

Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.