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Bullitt Director Dies

Bullitt Director Dies - Peter Yates, the four-time Oscar-nominated British director of Bullitt, Breaking Away and The Dresser, has died in London after a long illness. He was 82.

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art whose first film as a director was the lightweight Cliff Richard and the Shadows vehicle Summer Holiday, Yates made his name with the action-packed 1967 crime thriller Robbery, a dramatisation of the great train robbery. Hollywood beckoned, and Yates's first US effort, Bullitt, featured the first car chase in the modern style, with star Steve McQueen himself taking the wheel for a large part of a bravura extended sequence in which his Ford Mustang slaloms and chicanes through the streets of San Francisco.

Bullitt Director Dies

Academy recognition came later in Yates's career with the 1979 coming-of-age tale Breaking Away. The comedy about four working-class teens who take on students from the local university in a cycle race was nominated for five Oscars, including best director and best film and won one for its screenplay. Four years later Yates's movie The Dresser, an adaptation of the Ronald Harwood play about an ageing actor's personal assistant, received five nominations – including, once again, best director and best film.

After Bullitt's success, Yates shot the poorly-received 1969 romantic drama John and Mary, starring Dustin Hoffman and Mia Farrow. He returned to more action-oriented fare with 1971's Murphy's War, starring Peter O'Toole as a vengeful Irish merchant sailor who decides to singlehandedly take out the crew of the German U-boat who killed his shipmates.

Bullitt Director Dies

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