Peter Yates was an English director and producer, primarily known for directing the Academy Award-nominated film, Breaking Away (1979). Born in 1929, Yates began his career early as a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art during his teen years and would later begin working as a movie assistant during the 1950s as a way to get his foot into the movie industry. After a few unheralded early films, the director secured his reputation with his first American film, Bullitt (1968). Bullitt will be remembered as one of the few films that used an extended car chase sequence as part of the action at the time. In 1979, Breaking Away, starring a young Dennis Quaid and Daniel Stern, would elevate Yate's status even more as the coming-of-age cycling story was nominated for Best Film at the Academy Awards and is ranked eighth on the List of America's Most Inspiring Movies, according to the American Film Institute. Before his death in 2011, Yates had tallied over 10 Academy Award nominations for his films.