Dan Aykroyd has led tributes to his Ghostbusters co-star Harold Ramis.

The actor, director and writer passed away earlier this morning, and Aykroyd - who co-wrote as well as starred in both Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II with him - led condolences.

He said in an email message: "Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend, co-writer/performer and teacher Harold Ramis. May he now get the answers he was always seeking."

Ivan Reitman, director of the two movies, also paid tribute, saying: "The world has lost a wonderful, truly original, comedy voice with the passing of Harold Ramis.


"He possessed the most agile mind I've ever witnessed. He always had the clearest sense of what was funny and how to create something in a new clever way ... Harold had an extraordinary impact on my career and I loved him like a brother."

Ramis worked on many other films as writer and director in his career including Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, Analyze This and Animal House, making a huge impact in Hollywood.

Billy Crystal wrote on Twitter: "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."
Steven Martin tweeted: "So sorry to hear about the death of Harold Ramis, a comedy master. Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, and more."

Film director Ron Howard also paid tribute, saying: "Harold Ramis RIP. no one could ever top him in terms of somehow being Cool & off-the-charts creative and incredibly kind & gracious. (sic)"

Some of Ramis' last work was directing episodes of the US version of The Office, prompting one of the show's stars, Rainn Wilson to write: "Was honoured to have gotten to work with Harold Ramis, the Buddha of Comedy. Brilliant, humble, radiant. We've lost an icon."

Another one of the show's former stars, Steve Carell, wrote: "Harold Ramis. Funny, gracious, kind hearted. A joy to have known you."

Ramis is survived by his wife, Erica Mann Ramis, their two sons, Julian and Daniel as well as his daughter, Violet Ramis, with former spouse Anne Plotkin.

- Bang! Showbiz