Ivan Reitman, an influential film director and producer of many of the most beloved comedies of the late 20th century, from “Animal House” to “Ghostbusters” has died. 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 seek magic in life,” children Jason Reitman, Catherine Reitman and Caroline Reitman said in a joint statement. “We are comforted that his work as a director has brought laughter and happiness to countless people around the world. Although we mourn privately, we hope that those who knew him from his films will always remember him. “
Known for his obscene comedies that captured the spirit of his time, Reitman was a great success with the hoarse, student fraternity “National House of Animals,” which he produced. He starred Bill Murray in his first starring role in the summer camp film “Meatballs” and then again in the 1981 film “Stripes”, but his most significant success was his 1984 “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 and 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.
Paul Feig, who directed the reboot of Ghostbusters in 2016, tweeted.
“I had the honor of working so closely with Ivan, and it has always been such a learning experience,” Feig wrote. “He staged some of my favorite comedies of all time. All of us in comedy owe him a lot.”
“Legend,” comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani said on Twitter. “The number of great films he has made is absurd.”
Other well-known films he has made include Twins, Kindergarten Cop, Dave, Junior and Six Days, Seven Nights, 1998. He has also produced “Beethoven”, “Old School” and “European Trip” and many others, including his son’s Oscar-nominated film “In the Air”.
He was born in Komarno, Czechoslovakia, in 1946, where his father owned the country’s largest vinegar factory. His mother survived Auschwitz, and his father was in resistance. 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 devastated that I slept with my eyes. My parents were afraid that I would die. “
The Reitmans joined a relative in Toronto, where Ivan showed his penchant for show business – setting up a puppet show, entertaining in summer camps, playing 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 television show “Greed” 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”.
Reitman took advantage of the moment after the massive success of “Animal House” and raised money to put on “Fatballs,” which would have been more restrained than the tough R “Animal House”.
He manually selected Murray for the lead role, which turned out to be a significant break for the comedian, but Ramis later said Reitman didn’t know if Murray would actually appear before the first day of filming. But it was the beginning of a fruitful and lasting partnership that led to the creation of the military comedy “Stripes”, which Reitman, according to Reitman, invented on the way to the premiere of “Meat”, and “Ghostbusters”.
Reitman has always taken comedy and the power of laughter seriously.
“It’s a great cliché about how damn hard a comedy is. But of course no one pays any respect to that,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 2000. to make 600 people laugh is a really accurate and difficult job. … I feel like we’re laughing at the same things we’ve always laughed at, but the language of the director and the performer is changing. “
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