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Director of Bullitt dies aged 81

Oscar-nominated film director Peter Yates has died at the age of 81, his agent said today.

The Aldershot-born film-maker made his debut as a director in 1963 with the Cliff Richard film Summer Holiday, but is probably best known for Bullitt.

Based in San Francisco and starring Steve McQueen in the lead role, it was a box office success and became a favourite of film buffs for its epic car chase through the streets of the Californian city.

Yates made more than a dozen films, including the 1973 downbeat thriller The Friends Of Eddie Coyle, starring Robert Mitchum.

He was nominated for Oscars in 1979 and 1983 but failed to win.

His agent Judy Daish said he died in London yesterday after a long illness and leaves a wife and two children.