Celebrity News February 13, 2022
Ivan Reitman, 'Ghostbusters,' 'Meatballs' Director, Dies at 75
Ivan Reitman, the influential comedy filmmaker behind beloved box office hits like "Animal House," "Meatballs," "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," and more, has died at 75.
His family, including his filmmaker son Jason Reitman, released a statement to The AP confirming he died Saturday night at his Montecito, California, home.
“Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father, and grandfather who taught us to always seek the magic in life,” his children Jason Reitman, Catherine Reitman and Caroline Reitman said in the joint 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.”
Born October 27, 1946, in Czechoslovakia, his mother was a concentration camp survivor and his father an underground resistance fighter. The family moved to Canada when Reitman was 4. After studying at McMaster University, where he directed short films, he got his break in the film industry working with David Cronenberg on the films "Shivers" (1975) and "Rabid" (1977).
His first success was as the producer of "National Lampoon's Animal House" (1978), which became a surprise box-office sensation and pop cultural touchstone. The following year, he directed Bill Murray in his first film, the teen coming-of-age summer camp comedy "Meatballs" (1979).
"Stripes," the basic-training farce he directed that featured Murray, was another huge hit, but his greatest achievement arrived in the form of 1984's "Ghostbusters." Reitman produced and directed the supernatural caper, which grossed $100 million, spawned a merchandising bonanza and two sequels, and was rebooted in 2016. Most recently, Reitman's son Jason directed 2021's "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," which has grossed approximately $200 million worldwide to date.
Reitman's other films as a director include "Legal Eagles" (1986) with Robert Redford and Debra Winger, "Twins" (1988) with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, "Kindergarten Cop" (1990) with Schwarzenegger, "Dave" (1993) with Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver, and the Harrison Ford/Anne Heche romantic comedy "Six Days Seven Nights" (1998).
Along with "Animal House," he also produced "Beethoven" (1992), "Space Jam" (1996), and the Howard Stern vehicle "Private Parts" (1997).