Oscar-nominated movie director John Singleton has died at only 51 years old. The legendary filmmaker and screenwriter suffered a stroke on April 17 and checked himself into a hospital after experiencing weakness in his leg. He was reportedly traveling back home from Costa Rica and the plane flight may have triggered the medical emergency. TMZ reported the stroke as “mild.”
His spokesperson released a statement earlier Monday announcing the family intended to take Singleton off of life support.
“John Singleton is a prolific, ground-breaking director who changed the game and opened doors in Hollywood, a world that was just a few miles away, yet worlds away, from the neighborhood in which he grew up,” the statement said in part. “John grew up in South Central L.A with a love of cinema that showed itself early on. He went on to become one of the most lauded graduates of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Within months of graduating, John returned to South Central to shoot his debut feature, Boyz N the Hood. The movie, which was unusually shot in sequence, masterfully captured a story of friendship, youth and the peril of hard choices in a community marred by gang violence. The film earned special honors at its debut at Cannes and Singleton went onto become the youngest director and first African-American writer-director nominated for the Academy Award. Two decades later, the film was placed in the Library of Congress, a marker of its cultural and historical significance.”
1991’s “Boyz n the Hood” earned Singleton an Oscar nomination for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. He was the youngest filmmaker to be nominated in those categories. He was also the first African-American to be nominated for Best Director and has directed episodes of “The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story,” “Empire,” and “Billions.” In addition, he won two NAACP Image Awards along with an MTV Movie Award.
The Los Angeles native leaves behind four children, his mother, his estranged father and his girlfriend. They were all jockeying for position to control the filmmaker’s fortune worth tens of millions of dollars, according to reports. One website had Singleton’s net worth listed at $30 million.
In honor of his incredible life, see the photos below:
1. 1987 Portrait Of John SingletonSource:Getty
(Photo by Anthony Barboza/Getty Images)
In 1991, John Singleton became the youngest Academy Award nominee for Best Director for his debut film Boyz N the Hood. (Photo by Aaron Rapoport/Corbis via Getty Images)
ohn Singleton attending 44th Annual Writers Guild of America Awards on March 22, 1992 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Eddie Murphy, John Singleton and Ice Cube at the 1992 MTV Movie Awards.
(Photo by Kypros/Getty Images)
John Singleton and Will Smith at the “Batman Forever” Los Angeles Premiere at Mann’s Village Theater in Westwood, California, United States.
(Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
Boyz ll Men and John Singleton during VH1 Honors in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
John Singleton at the premiere of the film “A Bug’s Life.”
(Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
John Singleton at the premiere of “Shaft” in Berlin, Germany.
(Photo by Siemoneit/Sygma via Getty Images)
John Singleton at the premiere of “For Colored Girls” at the Ziegfeld Theatre on October 25, 2010 in New York City.
(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
John Singleton at the 7th annual Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood, California.
(Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
John Singleton at the ceremony honoring Taraji P. Henson with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 28, 2019 in Hollywood, California.
(Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)