Peter Yates, the British director of “Breaking Away,” “The Dresser” and “Bullitt,” the 1968 Steve McQueen movie whose landmark car chase sequence over the hilly streets of San Francisco was a career-defining moment for both director and star, has died. He was 81.
Yates died Sunday in London after an illness, his agent, Judy Daish, said in a statement reported by the Associated Press.
In a career that began with the 1963 Cliff Richard pop musical “Summer Holiday,” Yates directed more than two dozen movies, including “Murphy’s War,” “The Hot Rock,” “The Friends of Eddie Coyle,” “For Pete’s Sake,” “The Deep,” “Mother Jugs & Speed” and “Eyewitness.”
As a director, Yates received two Academy Award nominations — for “Breaking Away,” a light-hearted coming-of-age tale set in Indiana; and for “The Dresser,” a 1983 backstage story set in wartime England with Albert Finney as an actor-manager trying to keep his company afloat and Tom Courtney as his dedicated dresser.
Yates also was the producer of “Breaking Away” and a producer of “The Dresser,” both of which received Oscar nominations for best picture.