John Singleton, the writer and director of "Boyz n the Hood" and a pioneer in the film industry who was the first African American to win an Oscar nomination for best director, has died. He was 51 years old.
Singleton suffered a stroke and was admitted to the hospital on April 17. He was removed from life support on Monday and died a few hours later.
His family said in a statement, "We are saddened to report that John Singleton died." John died peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends.We want to thank the astonishing doctors at Cedars-Sinai Hospital for their care and kindness. to all John's fans, friends and colleagues for all the love and support they showed him during this difficult time. "
He grew up in south-central Los Angeles, which has become the setting for much of his work as a writer and director. He studied at the USC film school and turned his student thesis into the 1991 script, "Boyz n the Hood."
Just out of college, uncredited, Singleton boldly urged him to direct the film when Columbia Pictures approached him.
"Boyz n the Hood" starred Ice Cube and Cuba Gooding Jr. in a raw look at the lives of young African Americans in communities destroyed by drugs and violence.
The film received Singleton Oscar nominations for the original screenplay and direction. In addition to being the first black director to receive applause, he was also the youngest to receive a mention at the age of 24.
"As the movie continued, I was learning to drive," explained Singleton at the 25-year anniversary screening. "As it gets more intense and reaches the third act, the camera work gets more and more fluid, because I'm getting better and better – and having more chances."
He then moved to music videos, directing Michael Jackson's "Remember the Time" with Eddie Murphy, Iman and Magic Johnson.
Singleton continued to direct films like "Poetic Justice" (1993), "Higher Learning" (1995), a remake of "Shaft" (2000) and the second of the "Fast and Furious" franchise of 2003 "2 Fast". 2 Furious Greeting Cards ".
Singleton, who said he was deeply affected by Tupac Shakur's death, signed a contract to direct the Tupac biopic "All Eyez on Me," but left the project because of creative differences.
He was vocal about Hollywood's history in recruiting black filmmakers to tell black stories. In a Hollywood talk at Loyola Marymount University, Singleton said, "If you're making a story that is African-American, you have to have black people who can give you advice that is not unsafe – they're not just there to show your damn face ".
Singleton turned his attention to TV work in recent years, as his cinematographic opportunities became narrower and less interesting to him.
He received an Emmy nomination for directing the powerful episode "The Race Card" of the 2016 FX miniseries, "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story." The episode showed an adamant view of racial politics at stake during Mark Fuhrman's testimony and the "redecoration" of the Simpson defense team in Brentwood for the jury's visit.
This episode of the much-praised series received Singleton nominations for an Emmy and Directors Guild Award.
Singleton is survived by five children.