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Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman dies in his sleep aged 75

Acclaimed filmmaker Ivan Reitman has died at the age of 75, it has been confirmed.

Reitman, who was best known for directing the original Ghostbusters movie, died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday night at his home in Montecito, California.

His family led tributes in a joint statement shared with the Associated Press, which said: ‘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.’

It was signed off by his three children Jason, Catherine, and Caroline.

Reitman landed his breakout project with raucous comedy National Lampoon’s Animal House, which he produced. He went on to direct Bill Murray in Meatballs and then again in 1981’s Stripes.

Ivan Reitman
Reitman earned his breakout with National Lampoon’s Animal House (Picture: Frank Lennon/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Ivan Reitman
Reitman received two Oscar nominations for his work on Ghostbusters (Picture: MediaPunch / BACKGRID)
Ghostbusters II's Ernie Hudson, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd
Reitman’s hit Ghostbusters created stars out of Ernie Hudson, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd (Picture: Columbia/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

However, their most iconic work together was on 1984’s supernatural comedy Ghostbusters, which propelled stars like Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver to greater fame.

Ghostbusters would gross a staggering $300million (£222m) worldwide and even received two Oscars nominations. Ghostbusters has spawned sequels, spin-offs, television shows and the most recent movie Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which was released last year and directed by his son Jason Reitman.

Leading tributes for the late Reitman, Paul Feig – who directed the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters – tweeted: ‘I had the honor of working so closely with Ivan and it was always such a learning experience. He directed some of my favorite comedies of all time. All of us in comedy owe him so very much.

Comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani weighed in: ‘A legend. The number of great movies he made is absurd.’

Reitman, who was born in 1946 in Kormarmo, Czechoslovakia, was also known for his work on Twins, Kindergarten Cop, Junior, Dave and Six Days, Seven Nights.

He also produced films such as Beethoven, EuroTrip and Old School, and his son Jason’s Oscar-nominated Up In The Air.

Last September, it was announced that a sequel to Twins, titled Triplets, was in the works with Reitman returning to direct the original cast, including Arnold Schwarznegger and Danny DeVito.

When asked about the success of his arguably most highly-regarded work on Ghostbusters, Reitman once told AP: ‘I always had a sort of sincere approach to the comedy.

‘I took it seriously even though, it was a horror movie and a comedy, I felt you had to sort of deal with it in a kind of realistic and honest way.’

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