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Filmmaker Ivan Reitman, behind beloved comedies such as “Animal House” and “Ghostbusters,” has passed away. He was 75 years old.
His family told The Associated Press that Reitman died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Montecito, Calif.
“Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father, and grandfather who taught us to always seek the magic in life,” Jason Reitman, Catherine Reitman, and Caroline Reitman said in a statement. “We are comforted by the fact that his work as a filmmaker brought joy to so many people around the world. While we mourn privately, we hope those who knew him through his films will always remember him.”
Ivan Reitman, producer Of ‘Ghostbusters’
Producing “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” Reitman gained fame for making big, bawdy comedies that captured the spirit of their time. The director directed Bill Murray in his first major role in “Meatballs” and again in “Stripes,” but his most noteworthy success was 1984’s “Ghostbusters.”
As well as grossing over $300 million worldwide, the irreverent supernatural comedy starring Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Rick Moranis earned two Oscar nominations and spawned a veritable franchise, including spin-offs, television shows, and Jason Reitman’s newest film, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” which opened last year.
The films he also directed include “Twins,” “Kindergarten Cop,” “Dave,” “Junior,” and “Six Days, Seven Nights.” He also produced “Beethoven,” “Old School,” “EuroTrip,” and many others, including several for his son, filmmaker Jason Reitman.
More About Ivan Reitman
In 1946, his father owned the biggest vinegar factory in Czechoslovakia, where he was born. As soon as the communists began imprisoning capitalists after the war, the Reitmans escaped when Ivan Reitman was only 4. They traveled in the nailed-down hold of a barge bound for Vienna.
Ivan Reitman demonstrated his show biz abilities in Toronto, where he started a puppet theater, entertained at summer camps, and played coffee houses with a folk music group. He studied music and drama at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and began making movie shorts.