Ivan Reitman, director of beloved comedies such as “Ghostbusters” and “Kindergarten Cop,” died Saturday night at the age of 75.
“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 joint statement according to The Associated Press. “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 family told the AP that he died in his sleep at his house in Montecito, California.
I’ve lost my hero.
All I want is the chance to tell my father one more story.
He came from a family of survivors and turned his legacy into laughter.
Thank you for the kind messages. Enjoy his movies and remember his storytelling gifts. Nothing would make him happier. pic.twitter.com/tSijfxSnLg
— Jason Reitman (@JasonReitman) February 14, 2022
Reitman was born in Czechoslovakia but grew up in Canada after his family fled communism, according to the AP. There, he attended McMaster University, where he gained inspiration for one his first successes as a producer, 1978’s “National Lampoon’s Animal House.”
Reitman’s greatest success as a director came with 1984’s “Ghostbusters,” which made over $200 million at the domestic box office, according to Variety. He also directed other successful comedies like “Stripes” and “Twins.”
One of Reitman’s final projects as a producer was 2021’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” which was directed by his son Jason Reitman.
“It’s impossible to explain how it feels to be next to not only the world’s foremost authority on Ghostbusters but also one of the great storytellers of our time, who I can turn to and trust while making the movie,” Jason said about making the film, according to Screen Rant.
Reitman is survived by his wife Genevieve and their three children —Jason, Catherine and Caroline, Variety reported.