Died Ivan Reitman, an influential director and producer of favorite comedies from “Animal House” to “Ghostbusters”. He was 75 years old.
Reitman died peacefully in a dream Saturday night at his home in Montesita, California, his family told the Associated Press.
“Our family mourns the unexpected loss of a husband, father and grandfather who taught us to always look for magic in life,” said children Jason Reitman, Catherine Reitman and Caroline Reitman in a joint statement. “We are comforted that his work as a director has brought laughter and happiness to countless other people around the world. While we mourn privately, we hope that those who knew him from his films will always remember him. ”
Known for big, infamous comedies that captured the spirit of his time, Reitman got a big break from the hoarse student fraternity “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” which he produced. He directed Bill Murray in his first starring role in “Meatballs” and then again in “Stripes”, but his most significant success came with the 1984 film “Ghostbusters”.
The disrespectful supernatural comedy with Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Rick Maranis not only grossed nearly $ 300 million worldwide, but also won two Oscar nominations, spawned a real franchise, including spin-offs. show and new movie. , “Ghostbusters: The Underworld,” which opened last year. Directed by his son, director Jason Reitman.
Other well-known films he made included “Twins”, “Kindergarten Cop”, “Dave”, “Junior” and “Six Days, Seven Nights” in 1998. He has also produced “Beethoven”, “Old School” and “European Trip” and many others, including several for his son.
He was born in Kamarma, Czechoslovakia, in 1946, where his father owned the country’s largest vinegar factory. When the communists imprisoned the capitalists after the war, the Reitmans decided to run away when Ivan Reitman was only 4 years old. They were riding in the nailed hold of a barge bound for Vienna.
“I remember the flashbacks,” Reitman told the AP in 1979. – Later they told me about how they gave me a couple of sleeping pills to keep me quiet. I was so overwhelmed that I slept with my eyes open. My parents were afraid I was dead. “
The Reitmans joined a relative in Toronto, where Ivan showed his penchant for show business: he set up a puppet show, entertained in summer camps, played in cafes with a folk music band. He studied music and drama at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and began making short films.
Along with friends and $ 12,000, Reitman made the nine-day film “Cannibal Girls,” which American International agreed to release. With a budget of $ 500, he released the weekly TV show “Grad” with Dan Ackroyd and became associated with the Lampoon group in its off-Broadway show featuring John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Murray. This soon led to the “House of Animals”.
By the time “Kindergarten Cop” appeared in the 1990s, Reitman had established himself as the most successful comedy director in history. Although not even the father of three children, he could have prepared him for the daunting task of directing 30 children aged 4 to 7 in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comedy.
Reitman has slowed down as a director after “Six Days, Seven Nights” – only four films will be after “Evolution”, “My Super Ex-Girlfriend”, “No Thongs” and “Conscription Day” from 2014.
But he continued to produce and with “Ghostbusters: The Underworld” even found himself in a press release with his son, providing emotional moments for both with the passing of the baton.
Asked late last year why the 1984 film continued to fascinate, Reitman told the AP it was difficult to determine.
“I’ve always had some kind of sincere approach to comedy,” he said. “I took it seriously, even though it was a horror film and a comedy, I felt you had to deal with it in some realistic and honest way.”
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