By Abb Jones
The Reelness

Director Ivan Reitman, the man behind such iconic comedies as Animal House, Dave, Kindergarten Cop and Ghostbusters, has died at age 75. His family says he died peacefully Saturday night in his sleep at his home in Montecito, California.

The cast of National Lampoon’s Animal House.

Born in 1946 in Komarmo, Czechoslovakia, where his father owned the country’s largest vinegar factory and his mother survived the Auschwitz concentration camp, his family fled to Vienna four years later when the communists began imprisoning capitalists after the war.

The Reitmans would immigrate to Toronto, Canada, where Ivan’s love of performing would lead to him studying music and drama at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and making movie shorts.

Harold Ramos, Ernie Hudson, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd in Ghostbusters.

Ghostbusters was Reitman’s biggest hit. The irreverent supernatural comedy starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis grossed nearly $300 million worldwide. His son Jason Reitman directed last year’s critically praised sequel, Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Reitman is survived by his wife Genevieve, son Jason, and daughters Catherine and Caroline.

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