HOLLYWOOD—Ivan Reitman, producer and director of acclaimed Hollywood classics such as the 1984 film “Ghostbusters,” died in his sleep at his home in Montecito on Saturday, February 12. He was 75.
“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,” tweeted Tom Rothman, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group earlier this week.
Over the course of his film-making career, Reitman was behind the creation of some of the biggest Hollywood comedies of the 80s and 90s. Besides “Ghostbusters,” the film that incited a decades-long movie franchise later directed by his own son, Jason Reitman, Ivan also produced “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” and directed “Stripes,” “Twins” and “Dave,” to name a few. His films put stars like Bill Murray and John Bellucci on the map, and put already established actors, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, in their first-ever comedic roles.
By 2014, Reitman directed what would be his last film, “Draft Day” starring Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner and the late Chadwick Boseman, but his role as a producer continued. His company Montecito Picture Co. was responsible for producing many films, such as “Beethoven,” “Space Jam” and “Ghostbusters: After Life” – the latter being directed by his son, Jason.
“I’ve lost my hero,” tweeted Jason Reitman on Monday, February 14. “He came from a family of survivors and turned his legacy into laughter,” Jason added. “Enjoy his movies and remember his storytelling gifts. Nothing would make him happier.”
Ivan is survived by his wife Genevieve Robert and his children, Jason, an established director in his own right, Catherine, an actress, producer and writer, and Carolyn Reitman.