RIP Peter Yates 1929-2011
Peter Yates, one of cinema’s most versatile directors. has died in London at age 81. Upon graduation from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Yates worked his way up from dubbing assistant to assistant director in the classic films A TASTE OF HONEY and THE GUNS OF NAVARONE. He gained experience as a director on the British produced TV shows The Saint ( starring Roger Moore ) and Danger Man ( re-titled Secret Agent for America and starring Patrick McGoohan. Yates began his feature film directing career with 1963’s SUMMER HOLIDAY. After two more features Yates traveled to the U.S. where he helmed the action film classic BULLITT starring Steve McQueen. The film is still highly regarded for it’s groundbreaking car chase sequence through the winding streets of San Francisco. For the next few years Yates worked mostly in the states on dramas like JOHN AND MARY and THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE and action films such as MOTHER, JUGGS, AND SPEED and THE DEEP. In 1979 Yates had a great commercial and critical success with the coming of age comedy-drama BREAKING AWAY. For the next 20 years he divided his time between the U.S. and Britain directing films like the sci-fi fantasy KRULL, the thriller EYEWITNESS, and the acclaimed drama THE DRESSER. Yates ended his feature film directing career with 1999’s comedy CURTAIN CALL. He returned to TV with adaptations of Don Quixote in 2000 and A Seperate Peace in 2004. Peter Yates was nominated for directing and producing Oscars in 1979 for BREAKING AWAY and in 1983 for THE DRESSER.