“Ghostbusters” director Ivan Reitman passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 75 on Saturday.
Born in Czechoslovakia, Reitman was raised in Toronto and became a film and television director, a producer, and a screenwriter. He founded The Montecito Picture Company in 1998 after two decades of successful comedy films.
He married his wife, Geneviève Robert, in 1976. The couple had three children together: Jason, Catherine, and Caroline. He also had one granddaughter named Josephine.
Family Mourns Husband, Father & Grandfather: ‘Grieving The Unexpected Loss’
Reitman’s three children provided a joint statement to AP after their father’s passing.
“Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father, and grandfather who taught us to always seek the magic in life,” they wrote.
“We take comfort that his work as a filmmaker brought laughter and happiness to countless others around the world,” they continued. “While we mourn privately, we hope those who knew him through his films will remember him always.”
Ivan Reitman: From ‘Meatballs’ To ‘Ghostbusters’
Ivan Reitman was born in Czechoslovakia on October 27, 1946. His family moved to Toronto when he was only four years old.
In 1978, he produced “National Lampoon’s Animal House” and directed 1979’s “Meatballs” the following year. He is also known for having directed “Stripes” in 1981, “Twins” in 1988, “Kindergarten Cop” in 1990,” “Dave” in 1993, and “Junior” in 1994.
He would later go on to produce “Beethoven” in 1992, “Space Jam” in 1996, and “Private Parts” in 1997. He also served as producer of 2021’s “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” starring LeBron James and Zendaya.
His biggest success was directed “Ghostbusters” in 1984. Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis both starred in the film and wrote the screenplay. The film featured an A-list cast of Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, and Annie Potts. It was the second-highest-grossing film in 1984, just behind “Beverly Hills Cop.” Even so, the film went on to win two Academy Award nominations. Ray Parker was nominated for “Ghostbusters” in the Best Original Song category. The film also scooped up a nomination for Best Visual Effects.
Five years later, in 1989, Reitman returned to direct and produce the film’s sequel: “Ghostbusters II.” He also returned to serve as a producer on “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” released in 2021. His son, Jason, served as the film’s director.
In September 2021, Deadline had reported that Reitman was working on a sequel to the Arnold Schwarzenegger film “Twins” called “Triplets.” Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, and Tracy Morgan were supposed to star in the film that Reitman was slated to direct and produce.
‘Ghostbusters’ Releases Statement: ‘A Great Talent And An Even Finer Man’
A great talent and an even finer man; he will be dearly missed. We send his family all our condolences.” – Tom Rothman, Chairman and CEO, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group (2/2)
— Ghostbusters (@Ghostbusters) February 14, 2022
The official “Ghostbusters” Twitter page put out a statement from Tom Rothman, the Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group.
The tweet read: “Tonight, the lady with the torch weeps, as do all of us at Columbia, and film lovers around the world. Ivan Reitman was an inseparable part of this studio’s legacy, but more than that he was a friend. A great talent and an even finer man; he will be dearly missed. We send his family all our condolences.”
I am deeply saddened by the loss of Ivan’ Reitman. Truly a great man and filmmaker who I had honor and privilege of knowing and working with. Deepest condolences to Jason and the entire family. May he RIP #jasonReitman
— Ernie Hudson (@Ernie_Hudson) February 14, 2022
“Ghostbusters” actor Ernie Hudson also released a statement, tweeting, “I am deeply saddened by the loss of Ivan Reitman. Truly a great man and filmmaker who I had honor and privilege of knowing and working with. Deepest condolences to Jason and the entire family. May he RIP #jasonReitman”
Paul Feig, who directed the “Ghostbusters” reboot starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones said that he was in “absolute shock” over the news.
I’m in absolute shock. I had the honor of working so closely with Ivan and it was always such a learning experience. He directed some of my favorite comedies of all time. All of us in comedy owe him so very much. Thank you for everything, Ivan. Truly. ❤️❤️ https://t.co/SGnI7OcT9s
— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) February 14, 2022
Feig tweeted, “I’m in absolute shock. I had the honor of working so closely with Ivan and it was always such a learning experience. He directed some of my favorite comedies of all time. All of us in comedy owe him so very much. Thank you for everything, Ivan. Truly. ❤️❤️”
Carrie Coon, who starred in “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” also expressed her condolences.
Working with Ivan was an honor and a pleasure and I’m so grateful that I was invited into the universe he helped to build, one that continues to resonate with fans the world over. 💔 pic.twitter.com/24N3L6nOjY
— Carrie Coon (@carriecoon) February 14, 2022
Coon tweeted, “Working with Ivan was an honor and a pleasure and I’m so grateful that I was invited into the universe he helped to build, one that continues to resonate with fans the world over. 💔”
Celebrities Pay Tribute To The Legendary Ivan Reitman
Rest In Peace Ivan Reitman 💙✌🏼
— ✌🏼rosanna arquette (@RoArquette) February 14, 2022
Hard to put into words how important Ivan Reitman’s films were to my childhood and my developing love of cinema. To me he was a giant. So glad I got to work with him on DRAFT DAY in 2013. Even more fortunate I was able to tell him how much he meant to me. RIP. pic.twitter.com/80g6hLUtBK
— Pat Healy (@Pat_Healy) February 14, 2022
A legend. The number of great movies he made is absurd. RIP. https://t.co/1d1tWCdrcb
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) February 14, 2022
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