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London (ANI): British filmmaker Peter Yates passed away in London on Sunday following an illness. He was 81. He left behind his wife Virginia Pope, a son and a daughter, reports the BBC. The family will hold a private funeral, according to his agent Judy Daish.
A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Yates started out as an actor before becoming an assistant director on such films as The Guns of Navarone and A Taste of Honey. He made his directorial debut in 1963 with Cliff Richard vehicle Summer Holiday, going on to make episodes of The Saint and Danger Man.
Bullitt, his first US film, followed a year later, casting McQueen as the head of a police unit guarding a man about to testify against his mobster brother. Yates was nominated for the best director Oscar in 1980 for Breaking Away, and again in 1984 for The Dresser.