‘Bullitt’ director Peter Yates dies aged 82

British director will be remembered for his 1968 classic

Bullitt director Peter Yates has died in London at the age of 82.

He died after a long illness, reports The Guardian.

After working as Assistant Director on films such as Tony Richardson‘s A Taste of Honey and J Lee Thompson‘s Guns of Navarone, both in 1961, Yates made his feature directorial debut in 1963 with Summer Holiday, the best-known film of Cliff Richard‘s film career.

He then worked with Eric Sykes in 1964’s One Way Pendulum before making Robbery in 1967 with Stanley Baker, the story of the Great Train Robbery of 1963.


Yates secured his place in cinema history with Steve McQueen in the 1968 classic Bullitt, using his experience driving racing cars and managing Stirling Moss to create the film’s iconic 10-minute car chase on the streets of San Francisco.

In 2007 the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Yates followed Bullitt with romantic drama John and Mary in 1969, starring Dustin Hoffman and Mia Farrow. The likes of Murphy’s War (1971), Mother, Jugs & Speed (1976), The Deep (1977) and Krull (1983) followed.

He was Oscar-nominated for the coming-of-age drama Breaking Away in 1979, and again in 1983 for The Dresser, an adaptation of Ronald Harwood‘s play of the same name.

Yates is survived by his producer wife Virginia Pope and by his three children.


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