Director Richard C. Sarafian has died at the age of 83.

The Vanishing Point moviemaker passed away on Wednesday (18Sep13) at a hospital in Santa Monica, California after contracting pneumonia while he was recovering from a fall, according to his son, actor/director Deran.

Sarafian began his career in the 1960s and primarily worked in television, helming episodes of shows including The Twilight Zone and Gunsmoke, but he is perhaps best remembered for his cult 1971 film Vanishing Point.

The car chase action movie is credited with influencing many actors and directors, including Warren Beatty, Sean Penn and Quentin Tarantino, who were all admirers of his work.

Sarafian was close friends with fellow director Robert Altman, and was married to his sister.