Robert Relyea dies but leaves Hollywood legacy

Robert Relyea dies: Director and movie producer, Robert Relyea worked on "West Side Story," "Bullitt," and "The Magnificent Seven," among other films.

(AP Photo/Courtesy Robert Relyea Collection, Lane Relyea)
Film producer and assistant director, Robert E. Relyea, whose credits included “The Magnificent Seven” and “West Side Story," sitting at home in Los Angeles. Relyea worked John Wayne on “The Alamo” and Elvis Presley on “Jailhouse Rock.”

The film producer and director whose credits included "The Magnificent Seven" and "West Side Story" has died. Robert E. Relyea was 82.

A spokeswoman for Relyea says he died March 5 of natural causes in Los Angeles.

Relyea's career spanned over 40 years. He worked with stars such as John Wayne on "The Alamo" and Elvis Presley on "Jailhouse Rock."

He collaborated with Steve McQueen on several films, including "Bullitt," ''Le Mans" and "The Reivers."

The film Bullitt built a large and loyal following for the Ford Mustang. Here's how remembers it:

"The 1968 Ford Mustang Bullitt gained its fame from Steve McQueen’s Bullitt movie, it set pace as one of the most thrilling, and adrenalin packed car chases of its time, raw without any effects as we see in today’s films. And the scene that we all remember in Bullitt; a role played by McQueen as a San Francisco police Lt. chasing the bad guys who were in a Dodge Charger, that was the beginning of the success of the 1968 Ford Mustang Bullitt Fastback.

In the movie, two Highland Green 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390s were used and one was confirmed as destroyed while the other disappeared into a barn in the Southern United States."

Relyea started as an MGM crew member in 1955 and served as president of production at MGM-United Artists from 1997 to 2001. He released his autobiography, "Not So Quiet on the Set," in 2008.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; five children; two stepchildren and grandchildren.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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