Legendary Ghostbusters producer Ivan Reitman died Saturday in his sleep at home, as reported by The Associated Press. Reitman was the highly successful producer behind several top comedies like Animal House and of course, Ghostbusters, Undoubtedly the world will be grieving the death of another film icon with this tremendous loss. He was 75 years old.
“Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father, and grandfather who taught us to always seek the magic in life,” children Jason Reitman, Catherine Reitman and Caroline Reitman said in a 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.”
Reitman’s son, Jason Reitman, recently directed and co-wrote Ghostbusters: Afterlife and has often said the film is a love letter to his father’s work on the original films. Ivan was able to see his son’s work come to life this past summer with the highly successful film which was released to highly touted critical acclaim.
Ivan Reitman Was One Of Hollywood’s Greatest Comedic Minds Ever
Ivan, whose big break came from National Lampoon’s Animal House, went on to be a top mind and producer on several of Hollywood’s biggest, most outrageous comedies from Stripes to Bill Murray’s first starring role, Meatballs. Of course, there is no doubt that Reitman’s best, most prolific work came in the not so spectral form of Ghostbusters. The 1984 film starring Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson has spawned two sequels now, and a reboot featuring an all-female cast in 2016. However, this aside, his work on Ghostbusters spawned comics, cartoons, merchandise, books, video games, and indeed shaped pop culture for the better. Reitman also tried his directing chops in such comedies as Dave, Kindergarten Cop, and Twins.
Last year, while on the press tour with his son Jason, Ivan, who did have a cameo in Afterlife, was asked about his masterpiece, and how it continued to fascinate, and even grow. He had a great response as he said, “I always had a sort of sincere approach to the comedy. I took it seriously even though, it was a horror movie and a comedy, I felt you had to sort of deal with it in a kind of realistic and honest way.”
Born in Komarmo, Czechoslovakia in 1946, the son of a vinegar factory owner, Reitman will go down as one of, if not the best comedy producers of all time. This is a legacy his son Jason, and daughters Catherine Reitman and Caroline Reitman can be proud of as well as join in with millions of fans worldwide united in grief and celebration of a magnificent and award-winning career. Our thoughts go out to them at this painful time. Ivan will always be remembered for his incredible work and his legacy will live on forever. Rest in peace.