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Director Peter Yates Dies at 81

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Jan 10, 2011 | 7:09am EST

Peter YatesHollywood lost another great on Sunday. British filmmaker Peter Yates passed away in London after battling an illness. He was 81 years old.

Yates is perhaps most well-known for directing the classic Steve McQueen film, Bullitt, but he was also a classically-trained director who received praise for much of his body of work. He trained at the illustrious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London as an actor before switching to the director’s chair in the early 60s.

His directorial debut was 1963’s Summer Holiday – a swinging 60s musical – before he went on to helm films that were more his style with Robbery, a heist movie that he wrote and directed. Besides working with screen legend Steve McQueen, Yates also had the pleasure of working with big names like Dustin Hoffman and Mia Farrow (John and Mary), Peter O’Toole (Murphy’s War), and Robert Redford (The Hot Rock).

He was nominated for four Oscars during his lengthy career; both The Dresser and Breaking Away were nominated for Best Picture and Best Director in 1979 and 1983, respectively. He made his last feature film, Curtain Call, in 1999.

Yates is survived by his wife, Virginia Pope, and his two children.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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