Ivan Reitman, the long-time Hollywood producer and director behind such beloved films as Animal House, Ghostbusters and Stripes, has passed away.
He was 75 years old.
The filmmaker’s family confirmed this sad piece of news on Sunday evening, telling The Associated Press that Reitman died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Montecito, California the day before.
“Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father and grandfather who taught us to always seek the magic in life,” said his the director’s kids, Jason Reitman, Catherine Reitman and Caroline Reitman, 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 rose to national acclaim in 1984 with the release of Ghostbusters, which he produced and directed.
The movie was a gigantic hit, launching a franchise that spanned decades… including last year’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, directed by his son, Jason Reitman.
“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,” Tom Rothman, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, Tweeted on Sunday.
Reitman’s other notable credits in his illustrious career include Kindergarten Cop, Junior, Beethoven, Old School and Six Days, Seven Nights, among many others.
He also produced Space Jam in 1996, which saw NBA legend Michael Jordan teaming up with Bugs Bunny and Bill Murray; along with the 2021 version starring LeBron James and many other professional basketball players.
The filmmaker, who was nominated for a pair of Academy Awards, was born in Komarmo, Czechslovakia.
His parents, Klara and Ladislav Reitman, were Hungarian Jews, movng to Canada as refugees when their son was four years old in ordder to escape the communist dictatorship taking over the nation.
Reitman is survived by his wife, Genevieve, and three children.
We send our condolences to the late star’s friends, family members and loved ones.
May Ivan Reitman rest in peace.
“A great talent and an even finer man; he will be dearly missed. We send his family all our condolences.”