Ivan Reitman, a director known for his blockbuster comedies, died at the age of 75.
Ivan Reitman grew up in Canada, where he studied filmmaking after his family fled Communist oppression in postwar Czechoslovakia. His big break came when he produced National Lampoon’s Animal House, a frat-house comedy released in 1978. Twins, Kindergarten Cop, and Junior were among his other films as a director. His family said he died peacefully in his sleep at his 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 said in a statement.
“We take comfort that his work as a film-maker brought laughter and happiness to countless others around the world.”
Reitman’s accomplishments have been lauded by members of the film industry. On Twitter, Paul Feig, the director of the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot, wrote: “He directed some of my all-time favorite comedies. We all owe him a debt of gratitude in the comedy world.”
“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. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/saVhBoBgFG— Ghostbusters (@Ghostbusters) February 14, 2022
Judd Apatow, the writer and director of Knocked Up and The 40 Year-Old Virgin, called Reitman a “true legend” who “influenced everything we all love about film comedy. “Kumail Nanjiani, the actor and writer behind the film Big Sick, agreed that he was “a legend,” adding, “The number of great movies he made is absurd.”
“He was old school in the best way, and kind,” Mindy Kaling, who appeared in Reitman’s 2011 film No Strings Attached, said.
Ivan Reitman was born in 1946 in Komarno, Slovakia, to a mother who had survived the Auschwitz concentration camp and a father who owned the country’s largest vinegar factory.
Ivan Reitman’s most famous film was Ghostbusters, which he directed in 1984. The supernatural comedy hit made over $200 million worldwide and was nominated for two Academy Awards. It also spawned a sequel in 1989 and two new installments in the franchise. Last year’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, directed by his son Jason, was produced by Reitman.
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