Ivan Reitman, the brilliant producer and filmmaker behind irreverent cultural stelae like Ghostbusters and Animal house, passed away, his family said Sunday. He is 75 years old.
Reitman passed away peacefully in his sleep at his California home Saturday night, according to a joint statement his family released to the AP news agency. No cause of death has been identified.
Jason Reitman, Catherine Reitman and Caroline Reitman, the director’s three adult children, said: “Our family is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of a husband, father and grandfather who taught us to always find Find miracles in life.
“We are so comforted that his work as a filmmaker has brought laughter and happiness to countless others around the world,” the family added. “While we mourn privately, we hope those who knew him through his films will always remember him.”
After cutting his teeth by producing David Cronenburg’s fledgling first horror, Reitman made his debut as a producer on the 1978 frantic comedy frat. National Lampoon’s Animal House. The following year, Reitman had the first of one of his most famous artistic collaborations, the unnamed director Bill Murray in the summer camp movie Meatball.
From there, it’s just a jump, skip, and jump into the funny stuff of legend. As a director, Reitman was successful in a number of family films throughout the 1980s and 1990s, including 1981. Stripes (another Murray team), 1988 Twin1990 kindergarten police, and in 1994 Small.
But that was with 1984 Ghostbusters that Reitman was able to cement his status as a giant of cinema. The immortal blockbuster was critically acclaimed and is said to have grossed a total of US$242 million during its existence and spawned a host of sequel productions, including last year. Ghostbusters: The Afterlife.
Directed by his son, Jason Kingdom Come used as a kind of spiritual torch. Reitman served as a producer for his son’s vision, and is said to have shed tears while watching a clip.
“My dad hasn’t been out of the house much because of COVID,” Jason said Empire magazine in January of last year. “But he took the test, put on a mask, and drove down to the Sony area to watch movies with the studio. And then he cried, and he said, ‘I’m so proud to be your father.’ And it was one of the great moments of my life.”
Born in Czechoslovakia in 1946, Reitman was the son of an Auschwitz survivor and an anti-submarine fighter. His family immigrated to Toronto to escape communist oppression when he was 4 years old.
“I remember the flash,” Reitman told the AP of the trip in 1979. “Then they told me they gave me some sleeping pills so I wouldn’t make a fuss. I was so knocked down that I fell asleep with my eyes on. My parents were afraid I was dead.”
Nearly six decades later, Reitman was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada “for his contributions as a director and producer, as well as for his promotion of the motion picture industries.” and Canadian television.”
As a producer, Reitman has enjoyed huge success with Beethoven series about cuddling Saint Bernard, and the 1996s Space jam.
In 2016, Reitman told The Daily Beast in an interview which he still considers Ghostbusters is the strongest of his Murray quartet, calling it “the purest and most complex”.
In Ghostbusters“the story is alpha,” says Reitman. “It’s very important and you can’t just come up with anything in your head. Must pay attention, tell stories must also pay attention”.