Boyz n the Hood and Shaft Director John Singleton Dies at 51

john singleton
(Photo: Kathy Hutchins /

It's a sad day for the entire film community, as beloved director John Singleton has passed away at the age of 51. This news comes more than a week after Singleton suffered a massive stroke on April 17th.

On Monday morning, Singleton's family said that he would be taken off of life support at some point later in the day. Deadline confirmed the news Monday afternoon.

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker was best known for his debut film, Boyz n the Hood. The 1991 movie starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, and Ice Cube received immediate critical acclaim, and earned Singleton his only two Oscar nods. He was nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay for his work on the film.

In the years following the impressive debut, Singleton continued his hot streak, directing movies like Poetic Justice, Higher Learning, Shaft, and Four Brothers. He also produced Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan.

Over the last few several years, Singleton made his mark on the world of television, bringing the acclaimed series Snowfall to life on FX. He directed three episodes of that series, along with individual episodes of Empire, American Crime Story, Rebel, and Billions. Snowfall was recently renewed for a third season on FX with Singleton continuing his work as an executive produce on the series.

After news of his coma made the rounds online, many of Singelton's peers took to social media to send him and his family their prayers and well wishes. This included famed TV producer Shonda Rhimes, who thanked Singleton for his role in her early career.

"There was a time when I was struggling to pay my bills in film school and not sure this town was for me," Rhimes wrote in an Instagram post. "And one day, not long after Boyz n the Hood exploded on the scene, my phone rang. It was John Singleton. John did not know me at all. But someone at USC had told him I was talented and he was kindly calling to offer me some words of encouragement. He told me to keep writing. I never forgot it. Praying for him and for his family now."

Singelton has always been a beloved member of the film community and he will surely be missed.


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