Ivan Reitman

Although he received less personal publicity than his box-office powerhouse contemporaries George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, director-producer Ivan Reitman had a comparable impact on filmmaking trends of the late 1970s and 1980s. In fact, what Lucas and Spielberg did for fantasy adventure, Reitman did for big-budget comedies. After producing low-budget horror thrillers with director David Cronenberg, Reitman struck gold when he produced "National Lampoon's Animal House" (1978), a huge hit that touched off a rash of imitators for decades and became a cultural landmark. Following successful turns in the director's chair for "Meatballs" (1979) and "Stripes" (1981), Reitman helmed "Ghostbusters" (1984), one of the most successful movies of the decade and perhaps the most influential comedy of its era. Reitman continued making quality pictures as a director and producer, bringing to the screen such hits as "Twins" (1988), "Kindergarten Cop" (1990) and "Dave" (1993). Reitman also enjoyed Oscar-nominated success as the producer of director son Jason Reitman's exquisite "Up in the Air" (2009), which added considerable heft to his already impactful career. His own final film as a director was the sports comedy "Draft Day" (2014). Ivan Reitman died on February 12, 2022 in Montecito, CA at the age of 75.