Stars Pay Tribute to Director Ivan Reitman

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Dan Aykroyd, Rick Moranis and Ivan Reitman on the set of 1984’s Ghostbusters

Film stars and other celebrities are paying tribute to Ivan Reitman, the legendary movie director and producer who died February 12, 2022, at age 75. Reitman enjoyed a significant run of success with iconic film comedies that began in the late ’70s.

After the Czechoslovakian filmmaker produced National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), he then shone as a director on such box-office hits as Meatballs (1979) and Stripes (1981), both starring Bill Murray, Ghostbusters (1984) and its first sequel Ghostbusters II (1989), and a series of comedic star turns for Arnold Schwarzenegger, Twins (1988), Kindergarten Cop (1990) and Junior (1994).

Many of those films’ stars are paying tribute to their friend. Ghostbusters star Dan Aykroyd wrote, “The loss of my friend, collaborator, champion and one of the last great creative talents of the BIG SCREEN ERA crumples me. Now on Thursdays, who am I gonna call?”

Schwarzenegger penned a lengthy tribute to his “fantastic friend.”

“Thanks for everything, Ivan.

“Ivan Reitman is a legend. In Hollywood, he was bigger than life. He was comedy royalty.

Photo via Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Facebook page

“In life, he was a mensch – a wonderful father and husband, a fantastic friend, a great human being. He was kind, he was generous, he was smart as hell, and he was always there for you.

“I am devastated, and my thoughts are with the Reitman family.

“If you knew him, Ivan had a way of making himself a part of your story, and he certainly wrote a chunk of mine. I’ll always be grateful that he took a chance on this Austrian action-hero in a comedy during a time when the studios just wanted me to focus on finding new ways to kill bad guys, blow things up, and show off some muscles. I knew I could make it in comedy, but I needed someone else to know it to make it a reality. That’s why Ivan was a great director and friend: he could see something in you that other people didn’t, and he could help you show the rest of the world.

“Making Twins, Junior, and Kindergarten Cop with Ivan was heaven for me. Spending the last few years working with him on Triplets, and once again seeing his passion and genius up close, was a joy. Just last week, I was talking about how excited I was to be on set again with Ivan this fall.

“I can’t believe I won’t work with him again or hang out with him again or just schmooze about life again. But I also know that Ivan isn’t gone, he’s still with us. He’s here, in so many pages of my story. And if you were ever lucky enough to meet him, or just experienced his work, he’s part of your story, too.

“Thanks for everything, Ivan.”

From fellow stars of Ghostbusters

From one of the stars of National Lampoon’s Animal House

Watch a classic scene from Stripes

Jason Reitman, who directed and co-wrote 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, paid tribute to his father.

From Ron Howard: “Ivan Reitman was a remarkable filmmaker who raised the bar for all of us through his wit, intelligence, talent, & ability to present stories in ways once seen we would forever adore. Condolences to the family, Jason & all of those pals who helped him make the unforgettable magic.”

From director Judd Apatow: “Opening night of Ghostbusters at UA Plainview was like a rock concert. The place exploded with joy. It was one of the most memorable moments of my childhood. Ivan Reitman influenced everything we all love about film comedy. A true legend.”

Related: Musicians and other celebrities we’ve lost in 2022

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