A native of Hampshire, England, Yates got his start as a dubbing assistant and later worked as an assistant director for Tony Richardson
. He made his directorial debut in 1963 with Summer Holiday, but it was 1968's Bullitt that put him on the map.The thriller, starring Steve McQueen and Jacqueline Bisset, featured a stirring car chase scene through the streets of San Francisco with McQueen's character's Ford Mustang. The sequence remains one of the best in movie history.
Yates was nominated for four Academy Awards — two as director and two as producer — for 1979's Breaking Away and 1983's The Dresser. He most recently directed the Showtime adaptation of A Separate Peace in 2004.Yates is survived by his wife, Virginia Pope, a son and a daughter.