Actor and director Harold Ramis, best known for the films Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, has died aged 69.
He died of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels, his agent told the BBC.
The star found fame as bespectacled ghost-hunter Egon Spengler in the Ghostbusters franchise in 1984.
But he was also a talented writer and director, whose credits included Caddyshack and Animal House.
“His creativity, compassion, intelligence, humour and spirit will be missed by all who knew and loved him,” said his family in a statement.
The star had reportedly been quiet about his illness, which dated back to 2010.
But several friends are said to have visited him recently, including Bill Murray from whom he had been estranged for years, the Chicago Tribune said.
Billy Crystal, who starred in the director’s mobster comedies Analyze This and Analyze That, wrote: “Sad to hear my friend Harold Ramis passed away.
“A brilliant, funny actor and director. A wonderful husband and dad. Big loss to us all.”