Director Ivan Reitman has died at age 75. It’s a shock and very sad news. Ivan was a hugely popular member of the film world as a director, a producer and father of Jason Reitman, whose “Up in the Air” he produced.
The reports say Reitman died in his sleep at his home in Montecito, California. But the Reitmans are from Toronto, and were well known property holders there and much respected.
“Ghostbusters” was the most famous movie he directed and produced, and of course, it became an institution. The new version directed by Jason, has been a hit for months. Reitman also directed one of the great satires of all time, “Dave,” as well as hits starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Murray. Ivan co-produced “Animal House,” the landmark 1978 comedy starring John Belushi and a group of actor who would go on to fame and fortune.
The Reitman family is legendary in Toronto. Ivan’s father and mother survived the Holocaust in Hungary. His mother was in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Reitman was born in 1946 and the fmaily and emigrated to Canada in 1950 as refugees. Ivan’s father bought a car wash downtown and adjoining land. That is now where the Bell Lightbox sits as the cornerstone of the Toronto Film Festival. In 201o, the block where the Lightbox stands was renamed Reitman Square.
Ivan Reitman was a wonderful guy, talented director, and great family man. He was a pleasure to know for everyone in show business. My condolences to his devoted family.
“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.”