After suffering a stroke while in the hospital, writer and director John Singleton was put on life support and had been in the ICU. Now, after he was taken off life support, it is being reported that John Singleton has died at the age of 51.
In the middle of April, news broke that John Singleton had suffered a major stroke, and his family said that he was receiving great medical care. Although the full seriousness of his condition was not immediately apparent, the filmmaker had been in the ICU at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles ever since.
On Monday, in a statement to Deadline, a spokesperson for John Singleton’s family announced the difficult decision to take him off of life support. The statement read in part:
It is with heavy hearts we announce that our beloved son, father and friend, John Daniel Singleton will be taken off of life support today. This was an agonizing decision, one that our family made, over a number of days, with the careful counsel of John’s doctors.
The writer and director had long struggled with hypertension (high blood pressure), and in the statement, his family also urged everyone to watch for and recognize the symptoms of this condition by consulting Heart.org. The family also thanked everyone who showed their love and offered their prayers for John Singleton during this time.
Born on January 6, 1968 in South Central Los Angeles, John Singleton had a love for film from an early age. A graduate of USC’s storied School of Cinematic Arts, John Singleton broke out in Hollywood in 1991 with his first feature film, Boyz N the Hood. That urban drama, which was shot in South Central Los Angeles where Singleton grew up, netted the writer and director major acclaim, launching his career.
For his debut film, John Singleton was nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards, making him the first African-American nominated for the award and the youngest nominee ever at just 24 years of age. Boyz N the Hood also earned John Singleton an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
John Singleton continued to make a name for himself with dramas like Poetic Justice, which starred the late Tupac Shakur, as well as Higher Learning and Rosewood. He also put his stamp on one of cinema’s biggest franchises with 2 Fast 2 Furious, teaming up again with Tyrese Gibson following their time together on Baby Boy.
Other notable titles in John Singleton’s filmography are 2000’s Shaft, starring Samuel L. Jackson, and the crime drama Four Brothers. In recent years, John Singleton has directed several one-off episodes of popular TV shows like Empire, American Crime Story and Billions. In addition to those directorial efforts, John Singleton co-created and executive produced the FX drama series Snowfall, which is expected to premiere its third season later this year.
John Singleton was a trailblazer who helped kick open doors for African-American filmmakers that were long closed (Spike Lee was snubbed for a Best Director nom for Do the Right Thing two year prior to Singleton’s nomination). He brought the kinds of stories that many audiences were unfamiliar with to life in a way that was raw and entertaining and that cemented his place in cinematic history.
John Singleton loved film, sailing and his family. He is survived by his mother and father and his seven children.
CinemaBlend sends our thoughts and condolences to John Singleton’s family and friends in their time of mourning.