Evan Reitman, producer and director of a series of films including “Ghostbusters” and “National Lampoon’s Animal House” that imprinted their antics on the funny bones of a generation of moviegoers, died Saturday at his home in Montecito, California, The Associated Press reported. He was 75 years old.
His sons, Jason Reitman, Katherine Reitman and Caroline Reitman, confirmed the death in a statement to the Associated Press.
During his decades-long career, with recent credits in the past year, Mr. Reitman has produced and directed major box office comedies that have become iconic for generations growing up with them and contributed to actors such as Bill Murray and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who cast him as a police officer disguised as a The role of the kindergarten teacher in “Kindergarten Cop” (1990).
He produced, with Matty Simmons, the 1978 movie “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” the hour-and-a-half depiction of the chaotic energy of life and Greek absurdity that has become one of the most beloved comedies in the history of the genre. The film introduced the concept of the toga party into modern culture. After the resounding success of “Animal House”, he later returned to directing He tells the New York Times, He regretted not directing it.
His 1984 film “Ghostbusters,” which he directed, was nominated for two Oscars, despite lukewarm reviews from some critics, who complained about the disjointed humor that prioritized special effects.
Viewers clashed with Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Mr. Murray, admiring the entertainment and enjoying them dressed in highly-accesory jumpsuits and exotic visuals that included 100-foot-high marshmallows in a sailor suit and a neon green ghost. Five years later, he directed a sequel, Ghostbusters II, and helped produce another secondary production, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, directed by his son, Jason, and released last year.
in 2007 Interview with CBCHe remembers the first time he saw him “Ghostbusters” stars in their whimsical outfits, circle Madison Avenue for a pre-shoot shoot. “There was something unusual in that picture,” he said. “I turned to the script assistant next to me and said, ‘I think this movie is going to work.
Ivan Reitman was born in Komarno, in what is now Slovakia, on October 27, 1946 to Jewish parents who survived the Nazis. Four years later, his family fled Czechoslovakia to escape communism and eventually landed in Toronto.
“We came here penniless,” he told CBC in 2007 when he was about to receive a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. “I didn’t speak the language.”
He began producing films as a student at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
Working off-Broadway on “The National Lampoon Show”, he established early partnerships with Mr. Ramis and with John Belushi and Mr. Murray before they became stars on “Saturday Night Live”.
Five films to watch this winter
After Animal House, he directed “Meatballs” (1979), starring Mr. Murray as a key counselor at a chaotic summer camp, and “Stripes” (1981), in which Mr. Murray plays a renegade army recruit.
Among the survivors are his children Jason, Catherine and Caroline.
“Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father and grandfather who taught us to always look for the magic in life,” they told the Associated Press of the world. While we mourn in private, we hope that those who knew him through his films will always remember him.”
A full obituary will appear soon.