British director Peter Yates has passed away at the age of 81. The AP reports that the filmmaker died in London yesterday after an illness. Yates had an eclectic filmography that ranged from fantasy (Krull) to horror (The Deep) to drama (The Dresser) to one of the all-time great action films, Bullitt. With Bullitt, Yates directed one of cinema’s best car chase scenes as Bullitt (Steve McQueen) races through the streets of San Francisco. Yates also directed one of my personal favorite films, Breaking Away. He received four Oscar nominations during his lifetime, two for Breaking Away (director and producer) and two for The Dresser (director and producer).
Our condolences go out to Mr. Yates’ friends and family.