Peter Yates, the acclaimed British film director responsible for such movies as 'Bullitt' starring Steve McQueen and 'Summer Holiday' featuring Cliff Richard, has died aged 81, reports BBC News. According to the filmmaker's agent, he passed away in London yesterday (9th January 2011) after a long illness.
Yates had a long and distinguished career in film which peaked when he released 'Bullitt' in 1968. The movie, which has since become a cult classic, features one of the most influential car chase sequences in movie history as MCQueen drives a Ford Mustang through the streets of San Francisco in hot pursuit of two hit-men in a Dodge Charger. Although Yates missed out on a 'Best Director' OSCAR, the film won the ACADEMY AWARD for 'Best Film Editing' and was nominated for 'Best Sound'. The filmmaker was later nominated for 'Best Director' for his 1980 movie 'Breaking Away' and again in 1984 for 'The Dresser'.
Yates had moderate success in his later years, directing1995's 'Roommates' and the 1999 movie 'Curtain Call', however, his television adaptation of the classic novel 'Don Quixote' in 2000 was critically acclaimed. The three-part film featured Bob Hoskins and Isabella Rossellini and was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards. Yates is survived by his wife Virginia Pope, a son and a daughter.