John Singleton, director of Boyz N the Hood, dies at 51

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John Singleton, director of Boyz N the Hood, dies at 51

by - 3 min read

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Filmmaker John Singleton, who debuted with the Oscar-nominated Boyz N the Hood in 1991 and continued making movies that probed the lives of black communities in his native Los Angeles and beyond, has died. He was 51.

Singleton’s family said Monday that he died after being taken off life support, about two weeks after he suffered a major stroke.

“This was an agonizing decision, one that our family made, over a number of days, with the careful counsel of John’s doctors,” the family said in a statement Monday.

“We are grateful to his fans, friends and colleagues for the outpour of love and prayers during this incredibly difficult time. We want to thank all the doctors at Cedars Sinai for the impeccable care he received.”

Singleton, 51, suffered a stroke while at the Los Angeles hospital on April 17, his family said in an earlier statement. He had been in a coma since, according to a conservatorship court filing on Friday.

Singleton is seen at left reflected in a poster for his movie Boyz N the Hood at an exhibition at the California African American Museum in 2003. (Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)

Singleton was 24 when he earned a pair of Oscar nods (original screenplay and direction) for Boyz N the Hood. He was the first black filmmaker to receive an Oscar nomination for directing as well as the youngest contender ever in that category. 

An inner-city, coming-of-age story set against a backdrop of gang violence, the debut feature earned critical accolades and was eventually added by the U.S. National Film Preservation Board to the Library of Congress National Film Registry. 

Singleton, right, is seen with fellow director Spike Lee, left, and actor Terrence Howard in 2005 at the Four Brothers premiere in New York. (Brad Barket/Getty Images)

His other credits included Poetic Justice, a romance starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur, a Samuel L. Jackson-led remake of Shaft, the racing action blockbuster 2 Fast 2 Furious and crime drama Four Brothers, starring Mark Wahlberg, Tyrse Gibson, André Benajmin and Garrett Hedlund.

Most recently, Singleton had co-created the FX crime drama Snowfall, exploring the rise of the crack cocaine epidemic in early 1980s Los Angeles. The series was approved last fall for a third season. 

Singleton, second right, is seen surrounded by members of his family at a 2003 ceremony honouring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. (Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

According to the family statement, his survivors include his mother, Shelia Ward, father, Danny Singleton, and his children: Justice, Maasai, Hadar, Cleopatra, Selenesol, Isis and Seven.

Details of a memorial service would be provided at a later date, the family said.

The Oscars also tweeted in tribute to Singleton, citing his nomination for directing.

This story originally appeared on CBC

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