Remembering Ivan Reitman
by Staff Editors
(February 13, 2022 – Toronto, ON) Highly influential Canadian producer-director Ivan Reitman has died. He was 75 when he died in his sleep yesterday at his home in Montecito, California. Born in Komárno, Czechoslovakia, now just Slovakia, he began his career and his rise to fame while attending McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
“Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father, and grandfather who taught us to always seek the magic in life,” children Jason Reitman, Catherine Reitman and Caroline Reitman said in a joint statement. “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.”
His film career began with a bit of a shaky start. Reitman produced a film called The Columbus of Sex. Based on the novel My Secret Life, the 1969 film was considered soft porn and deemed out of line according to the laws at the time. He was convicted, fined and put on probation for a year. Then came Cannibal Girls in 1973, which he produced and directed, and in 1975, Shivers, which was directed by David Cronenberg and produced by Reitman. Both were well received internationally and Reitman found himself producing Animal House in 1978 and directing the now classic teenage film, Meatballs, in 1979. Both were hugely successful and introduced the world to actors Bill Murray and Jim Belushi.
Reitman`’biggest hit to that time, Stripes came out in 1981. The critically acclaimed film also won rave reviews from audiences, a rare matching of tastes. He seemed to gain speed from there. The hugely successful comedy Ghostbusters again paired Reitman with Murray. It went on to gross approximately $310 million and counting. Along with directing the film, Reitman produced it, had an un-credited voice appearance and directed the music video for the song of the same name. It became the film he seemed tied to for the rest of his career and the title was synonymous with his name.
Last year his son Jason Reitman admitted that “Directing Ghostbusters Afterlife,” which his father had produced, “was completely intimidating. I was lucky enough to do it sitting next to my dad.”
Read more about Ivan Reitman.