Filmmaker Ivan Reitman of ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘Animal House’ fame dead at 75

Director and producer Ivan Reitman, the comedic mastermind who helped bring famous films like “Ghostbusters” and “Animal House” to the big screen, died Saturday at the age of 75, his family said.

The filmmaker’s family told The Associated Press he passed away in his sleep — and peacefully so — at his home in California.

“Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father, and grandfather who taught us to always seek the magic in life,” his three children — Jason, Catherine, and Caroline — said in a joint statement to the AP.

“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.”

Reitman burst onto the scene more than four decades ago, producing the 1978 comedy “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” People reported.

He followed that up by directing two more beloved comedies, “Meatballs” and “Stripes,” both of which starred Bill Murray.

Arguably the most well-known film that Reitman made was 1984’s “Ghostbusters,” which he both produced and directed. The movie took in almost $300 million and earned Reitman a pair of Oscar nominations.

But those three films were far from the only highlights of Reitman’s career.

“Ivan’s other notable credits in his celebrated career include ‘Kindergarten Cop,’ ‘Junior,’ ‘Beethoven,’ ‘Old School’ and ‘Six Days, Seven Nights,’ among others,” according to People.

On social media, Reitman was remembered as a comedy film icon:

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, film critic Justin Chang underscored what made Reitman so special.

“At their most memorable, Reitman’s comedies all but erase the line between goofy slapdashery and polished craft,” he wrote.

“To look back at his movies — many of them more amiable than side-splitting — is to rifle through an assortment of hits and misses, a catalog of comic imperfection. That’s no bad thing, really. Imperfection sometimes ages better, or at least more endearingly, than perfection,” Chang added.

“Over the 16 or so features he directed over three decades (and the many, many more he produced), Reitman warmly embraced imperfection as both an innate human right and an overarching comic principle.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter’s John Defore, Reitman’s “mainstream craftsmanship was a gift.”

“Reitman’s talent for recognizing bold, catchy comic premises, tailoring them to his performers’ strengths and delivering a reliable level of polish made him a uniquely effective commercial filmmaker,” he wrote.