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‘Ghostbusters’ Director Ivan Reitman Dead At 75

“Ghostbusters” director Ivan Reitman died on Saturday evening in his sleep at his home in California 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,” children Jason Reitman, Catherine Reitman and Caroline Reitman 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,” the statement added.

Reitman was born in Czechoslovakia and raised in Canada, becoming known for his first major hit “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” that he produced in 1978.

He directed two early Bill Murray films, “Meatballs” and “Stripes,” to acclaim prior to his best-known hit “Ghostbusters” that he both produced and directed.

“Pulling in close to $229 million domestically, it was among the most successful comedies of its time; it spawned a franchise that included a hit 1989 sequel and two new-millennium installments (the second of which, 2021’s ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife,’ was directed by Reitman’s son Jason and reunited the surviving stars of the original film, with a producing credit for Ivan Reitman.)” Variety reported.

The movie was the second-highest grossing film in the U.S. in 1984 and ranked number one for seven straight weeks in theaters, according to Columbia Pictures. The popularity of “Ghostbusters” led to a franchise of sequels, television shows, and other spinoffs of the original blockbuster.

Following “Ghostbusters,” Reitman produced three comedies with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had previously only been known for his action roles. The films included “Twins” (1988), “Kindergarten Cop” (1990), and “Junior” (1994).

Reitman also produced the beloved St. Bernard starred film “Beethoven” which became a well-known family-friendly franchise of films.

His 2009 co-produced film “Up in the Air” with his son Jason and Daniel Dubiecki was nominated for Academy Awards for best picture, best director (for his son Jason Reitman), best actor (George Clooney), best supporting actress (Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick), and best adapted screenplay.

The film also won several awards, including the British Academy Film Award for best adapted screenplay.

Reitman’s final work with “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” became a very emotional time for him.

“It was a very personal and sometimes tear-inducing experience,” Reitman told The Hollywood Reporter. “The day that all three of them showed up for the first time and were just checking stuff out — it was just extraordinary; just feeling the vibe, not just for me, but I felt it in the crew and cast. I felt it everywhere.”

Paul Feig, director of the 2016 “Ghostbusters” said, “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.”

Reitman’s cause of death was not revealed.

Reitman is survived by his wife Genevieve and three children, Jason, Catherine, and Caroline.

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