How did Ivan Reitman die? Legendary ‘Ghostbusters’ director mourned after death at 75

How did Ivan Reitman die? Legendary ‘Ghostbusters’ director mourned after death at 75
Ivan Reitman speaks onstage during CinemaCon 2021 at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on August 23, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (David Becker/Getty Images)

Legendary producer and director Ivan Reitman has died, his family confirmed on February 13, 2022. Perhaps best known for producing and directing 'Ghostbusters', the Canadian filmmaker was 75 years old at the time of his death and living in Montecito, California. 

Reitman's son, Jason took over from his dad to direct 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife', the sequel to the 1984 hit comedy. The film saw the return of most of the original cast, including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver, and even featured a digital version of Harold Ramis, who died in 2014. The only one to miss out was Rick Moranis, who was famously punched in the head in New York back in October 2020. 

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While 'Ghostbusters' will perhaps be Reitman's most memorable film, he's also known for his work on plenty of other hit comedies between the '60s and the '90s. Some of his other notable works include 'Meatballs' and 'Stripes', as well as producing 'Animal House', 'Space Jam', and 'Up in the Air'. 

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Film director Jason Reitman and his father Ivan Reitman attend the GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE World Premiere on November 15, 2021, in New York City. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

 

How did Ivan Reitman die?

According to Reitman's family, the director "passed away peacefully in his sleep" at home. In a brief statement, they added, "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."

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Reitman had no known illnesses or diseases at the time, so it appears to be a natural death. Over the past several years, Reitman had largely stepped away from directing, with his last project being the 2014 Kevin Costner-starring 'Draft Day'. While he didn't direct 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife', Reitman did feature in the film standing in for Ramis, who was later added digitally into the shots. In a 2021 interview, his son said, "That was the most emotional moment for me. My dad is one of the original Ghostbusters." 

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The movie was also Reitman's last as a producer. He also served as an executive producer on 'Space Jam: A New Legacy'. With such a long and distinguished list of movies in his name, Reitman remains one of the most popular directors from the 70s, which was very clear in the messages social media users left for him. 

Ivan Reitman unveils a "life-sized" Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man installation in the lobby of the Manhattan theatre on November 15, 2021, in New York City. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

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'What a loss'

"Rest In Peace to Ivan Reitman. Incredible filmmaker. It was quite touching to see his son @JasonReitman carry on his most special movie, Ghostbusters, before he passed. A really touching silver lining, if you’d call it that," one user tweeted. The Prime Video Twitter account said, "Legendary man with legendary work. RIP Ivan Reitman." Kumail Nanjiani also weighed in, tweeting, "A legend. The number of great movies he made is absurd. RIP."

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"Thank you for my childhood Ivan Reitman," one user mourned. Another responded, "Rest In Peace, Ivan. Thank you for the incredible entertainment and all that you did." A third user tweeted, "Oh what a shame, what a loss. #RIPIvanReitman."

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