Ivan Reitman, the influential filmmaker and producer behind such 1980s classics as Ghostbusters and Animal House, Stripes and Twins has passed away at the age of 75.
Passing away in his sleep on the night of Saturday, 12th February, no cause of death has yet been revealed. “Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father and grandfather who taught us to always seek the magic in life,” Reitman’s children Jason, Catherine and Caroline Reitman announced in a joint statement. “We take comfort that his work as a film-maker 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 continues.
Ivan Reitman’s son, Jason became an influential filmmaker in his own right upon the release of Thank You for Smoking in 2005, a great critical success that was later followed by the Oscar favourites Juno and Up in the Air. His father has long been considered a pioneer of ‘80s filmmaking, having also directed Meatballs in 1979, a film that was pivotal in popularising the personality of Bill Murray.
His death has caused ripples throughout the cinema industry with filmmakers, comedians and Hollywood stars each paying their respects to the iconic director. Taking to Twitter, the director of the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters, Paul Feig wrote, “I’m in absolute shock. I had the honour of working so closely with Ivan and it was always such a learning experience. He directed some of my favourite comedies of all time. All of us in comedy owe him so very much. Thank you for everything, Ivan. Truly”.
Ivan Reitman is survived by his wife, Genevieve, and their three children Jason, Catherine and Caroline.