With a steady career over the last 30 years, Ivan Reitman has produced and directed some of comedy’s most beloved films -– including “Ghostbusters” (1984), which introduced parapsychologists to America with a memorable theme song by Ray Parker Jr.
As a producer, Reitman’s breakthrough came with 1978’s “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” which immortalized John Belushi and the degenerates of Delta Tau Chi for generations to come.
After his directing debut in “Meatballs” (1979), the goofy summer camp saga starring Bill Murray, and “Stripes” (1981), also starring Murray, Reitman became a fixture on the comedy film scene.
Reitman is known to bring out the funny even in actors without a humor backgrounds, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played daring characters in Reitman’s “Twins” (1988), “Kindergarten Cop” (1990) and “Junior” (1994) –- the last of which featured the future California governor as a pregnant man.
Born in Czechoslovakia in 1946, Reitman fled to Canada four years later with his parents, who were Holocaust survivors. In Canada, he worked as a TV station producer and graduated from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where he was arrested in 1970 for his racy film “Columbus of Sex” with friend Dan Goldberg. The two were convicted under Canada’s decency laws and put on probation, while the arts community stood firmly behind the acclaimed film.
He and son Jason Reitman teamed up as producer and director, respectively, for 2009’s “Up in the Air,” which was nominated for six Oscars. Ivan Reitman is married to actress Genevieve Robert and has three children.
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