Producer-director Ivan Reitman, whose wildly successful comedies of the ‘70s and ‘80s included the blockbuster Ghostbusters, died in his sleep on Feb. 12 in Montecito, Calif., his family confirmed to the Associated Press. He was 75. The cause of death was not released.
His children, director Jason Reitman, Catherine Reitman and Caroline Reitman said via a joint statement:
“Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father, and grandfather who taught us to always seek the magic in life. 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.”
Notable films he directed include Meatballs (1979), Stripes (1981), Ghostbusters (1984), Ghostbusters II (1989), Twins (1988), Kindergarten Cop (1990), Dave (1993), and Junior (1994).
Reitman also served as producer for such films as Animal House (1978), Beethoven (1992), Space Jam (1996), and Private Parts (1997).
In mid-January 2019, news of a new Ghostbusters film, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, came through with Ivan’s son Jason Reitman taking over as co-writer and director.
Ivan remained producer, and stood in for Harold Ramis as Egon Spengler using digital makeup.