John Singleton, the groundbreaking film director, scriptwriter, and producer, died Monday in Los Angeles after suffering a stroke on April 17. He was 51 years old. A family spokesman said Singleton had died peacefully at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, surrounded by his family and friends.
"We would like to thank the excellent doctors at the Cedars Sinai Hospital for their expert care and kindness, and once again we want to thank all of John's fans, friends and colleagues for the love and support they showed him have this difficult time, "the family said in a statement.
Earlier on Monday, the family decided to remove Singleton from life support in Cedars, where he had been in the ICU for 1
John Singleton is deposed by Life Support Today
A two-time Oscar nominee for writing and directing his debut film Boyz N the Hood (1991), Singleton was a pioneer in the black cinema. He was a benchmark in filmmaking, and his voice appealed to an audience with black storytelling that had never been seen or heard before. He highlighted black narratives in the 90s and added to his pioneering voice the need for inclusive voices in the industry.
Born on January 6, 1968 in 1968, Singleton attended Blair High School and then went to Pasadena City College and then to the USC School of Cinematic Arts. At first he toyed with the idea of computer science, but then he enrolled in the USC Film Writing Program – and that was the spark that started a career that would make him one of the most influential filmmakers of our time. [19659002Afteritscompletionin1990itreleased1990itsfirstfeaturefilm Boyz N the Hood . Columbia Pictures began an extraordinary run that gave him a green light for three films within five years – an achievement rarely matched by contemporary directors – all at the age of 26. Also in Columbia, Singleton was strongly supported by studio boss Frank Price, a political conservative who responded strongly to Singleton's talent and family-oriented social messages.
The Boyz N the Hood document was discovered by a studio reader, Jeff Stockwell, who later became a scriptwriter in his own right. The film brought Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ice Cube as prolific movie actors on the map. The film also featured A-listeners like Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne as well as Morris Chestnut, Regina King and Nia Long. Boyz n the Hood was written and directed by Singleton (19459012). He followed three men as they led their lives through the obstacles of race, violence, cultural identity and relationships in Crenshaw, a district of Los Angeles.
It set the spotlight on what many would call "urban" filmmaking, although in reality it was only Singleton who told stories that he knew deserved to be told. He was a black filmmaker who focused on the black experience of compassion, empathy and an unprecedented rudeness. He built the ground in several ways.
Boyz N the Hood was a commercial and critical success, and Singleton received Oscar nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director. At the time, Singleton was 24, not only the youngest to receive a Best Director nom, but also the first nominee to pave the way, and Lee Daniels, Barry Jenkins, Jordan Peele and Spike Lee followed him. Boyz N the Hood consolidated his legacy in Hollywood when the US Library of Congress viewed it as a culturally significant piece of art and was selected for conservation in the National Film Registry in 2002.
As an example of The National Influence of the film, Singleton was invited in July 1992 to testify before a subcommittee of the Senate at a hearing entitled "Children at War: Violence and America's Youth." He and other witnesses talked about the possible causes of homicide rates among American adolescents, including drug abuse and weapon availability. Coincidentally, the chairman of this panel – the Subcommittee on Children, Family Drugs, and Alcoholism in the Senate for Labor and Human Resources – was Senator Christopher Dodd, who would direct the MPAA from 2011-17. Click here to see Singleton's full testimony, including his interaction with Todd.
During his time in Columbia in the 1990s, Singleton added youth, hipness and cultural awareness to a rich mix of talent deals geared towards established names like Penny Marshall, Danny DeVito and Harold Ramis. Its production company New Deal Entertainment became a training ground for young black executives and was a mandatory stop for black music stars such as Ice Cube and the late great Tupac Shakur, who prevailed only with older white executives.
In 1993 he followed Boyz N the Hood with Poetic Justice, with Janet Jackson, Shakur, King and Joe Torry. In this dramatic road trip movie, the world is seen through the eyes of Titular Justice, a poet played by Jackson. In the film, Shakur's character leads everyone on a road trip from Los Angeles to Oakland as they interact, build relationships, and handle their own luggage.
In 1995 Singleton continued to research racial relationships and identity in college drama Higher Learning, which combined him with Ice Cube and Fishburne. The film consisted of all the stars, including Omar Epps, Michael Rapaport, Jennifer Connelly, Kristy Swanson and Tyra Banks. There followed numerous films, including Rosewood (1997), Baby Boy (2001) and Four Brothers (2005). He even gave his vote for prominent Hollywood IPs, including the remake of Shaft in 2000 and 2 Fast 2 Furious in 2003.
Singleton also served as the producer of the critically acclaimed Southern Hip-Hop drama Hustle & Flow, with Future Empire and Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. The aforementioned Stephanie Allain partnered with Singleton to produce Brewer's Hustle & Flow film, which garnered both limelight in 2005 with critical recognition and an Oscar nomination for Howard.
Written and directed by Brewer, the Paramount movie was hard to come by. Singleton believed in it, supported it financially and brought it to Sundance in 2005, where it was a hit. Everyone screamed for the movie, but Singleton chose Paramount because he promised him two additional features. However, Paramount is said to have broken the promise and Singleton sued the studio and MTV films in 2011 for $ 20 million for alleged breaches of contract and fraud. They finally decided to end the lawsuit. At the end Hustle & Flow was made for $ 2.8 million and grossed more than $ 23 million.
Singleton continued to be a voice in film and television, representing the black community and encouraging studios to get them behind the camera.
Singleton said he was pleased that other black filmmakers outperformed or surpassed some of his characters. "I'm hoping God will break my record," Singleton told Daniels just before he became the second black man to be nominated for a directorial Oscar. However, it seemed that Sington's accomplishments had been forgotten for a moment when the #OscarsSoWhite movement later criticized the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Hollywood in general for lacking racial and gender diversity. At the time, Singleton, though still over 40, seemed to be an older statesman. Never as stubborn as colleagues like Spike Lee, who demanded change, he had already changed the industry.
He continued his platform and used his platform to tell as a director and producer including stories in film and television. He was also co-designer and executive producer of the FX drama series Snowfall which focused on the beginning of the cracking epidemic in Los Angeles and was renewed for season 3. He also directed episodes of billion, Empire and American Crime Story, along with Marion Jones: Press Pause for ESPN's 30 for 30.
"In his private life, John was a loving and supportive father, son, brother, and friend who believed in higher education, black culture, old-school music, and the power of film," the family statement said.
John's confidence in his place in Hollywood was matched only by his passion for the sea. John drove to Marina Del Rey Kayak every morning. His greatest pleasure when he was not on set was sailing his boat J's Dream on the Pacific Coast. American writer Willa Cather once said, "There are some things you can best learn in peace and others by storm." We, who grew up with John, made films, sailed with John and laughed with John, know the universe Calm and creativity that he has created for so many. Now, after his death, we have to control the storm without him. It is heartbreaking for us. "
Like many African Americans, Singleton had quietly struggled with hypertension, his family said. More than 40% of African American men and women have high blood pressure, which also develops earlier and is usually more severe. His family wants to share the message with everyone to identify the symptoms by going to Heart.org.
Singleton is survived by his mother Sheila Ward, his father, Danny Singleton and his children Justice, Masai, Hadar, Cleopatra. Selenesol, Isis and Seven.
Details of commemorative events will be provided at a later date.