By John H. Foote

Canadian filmmaker Ivan Reitman, 75, passed away suddenly this past weekend, dying in his sleep at his home in California.

In the eighties Reitman gave us some of the biggest box office hits of the decade with Meatballs (1980), Stripes (1981), and the massive hit film Ghostbusters (1984). Most recently he worked as executive producer on Ghostbusters – Afterlife (2021) which his Academy Award nominated son Jason directed.

Among the other hits Reitman directed are Ghostbusters II (1989), Kindergarten Cop (1990), Dave (1993), arguably his best film, Junior (1994), and Draft Day (2014), an excellent behind the scenes look at pro football with Kevin Costner.

Reitman was also instrumental on the building of the Bell Lightbox, the official home of the Toronto International Film Festival Group, on the corner of John St. and King St. in downtown Toronto, which the Reitman family owned and gifted to TIFF.

Reitman watched his son become a fine director in his own right, earning Best Director nominations for his films Juno (2007) and Up in the Air (2009), an achievement the senior Reitman never accomplished.

He was instrumental in making Bill Murray a major star in the early eighties, maintaining a lifelong friendship with the hermit like actor.

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