Ivan Reitman, a renowned Canadian filmmaker behind such classics as Ghostbusters, Space Jam, and Animal House. He passed away at the age of 75.
The director died in his sleep at home in Santa Barbara, CA, according to his family.
He has directed films such as Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, Meatballs, Twins, Kindergarten Cop, and others. He’s also produced films like as Space Jam and Animal House, a well-known comedy staple.
“Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father, and grandfather who taught us to always seek the magic in life,” his family told the Associated Press in a statement.
“We take comfort that his work as a filmmaker brought laughter and happiness to countless others around the world. While we mourn privately, we hope those who knew him through his films will remember him always.”
Ivan Reitman was born in Komárno, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia), to Hungarian Jewish parents. His father was a guerilla fighter in World War II, while his mother was a concentration camp survivor of Auschwitz.
He immigrated to Canada as a refugee in 1950, and he studied at Toronto’s schools. Reitman’s earliest credits were as a producer on Rabid and Shivers, a very different start from the comedy films he’d eventually become known for.
In 1979, Reitman made his directorial debut with Meatballs, but he truly established himself as a comedy filmmaker in 1984 and 1989 with the seminal Ghostbusters films.
His most recent credit was Ghostbusters: Afterlife, in which he is credited as the only producer. The film was also directed by Jason Reitman — Ivan’s son.
Reitman is survived by his three children, Jason, Catherine, and Caroline, as well as spouse Geneviève Robert.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
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