John Singleton, an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker best known for directing “Boyz N the Hood,” “Higher Learning,” “Rosewood” and “Poetic Justice,” has died Monday after he wasfollowing complications from a stroke, a family representative confirmed. He was 51.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences mourned the loss of the “youngest-ever Best Director nominee and an inspiration to us all.”
Singleton’s family said he was hospitalized afterApril 17. He had remained in intensive care since then and was reported to be in a coma last week. Singleton’s death was confirmed only hours after a spokesperson had to refute false reports that he had already passed.
Singleton became the first black filmmaker nominated for a Best Director Oscar for his debut feature from 1991, “Boys N The Hood.” He was only 24 at the time, and still remains the youngest director to receive that nomination.
His other major films include “Poetic Justice,” starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur; “2 Fast 2 Furious”; and a reboot of “Shaft” in 2000 with Samuel L. Jackson. Singleton also directed episodes of the hit shows “Empire” and “American Horror Story.”
At the time of his stroke, Singleton was working on a variety of projects, including his FX crime-drama “Snowfall,” which had been renewed for a third season.
Singleton “left an indelible mark on the world through his masterful artistry and uncompromising humanity,” said his agents at ICM Partners. “He was a visionary filmmaker and social commentator who created a path for a new generation of filmmaker, many of whom he mentored, in a way they never saw possible. His films and the incredible influence they had will be studied forever.”
Through his career, Singleton was outspoken about the struggles that black filmmakers faced getting their stories told. It was an issue he spoke up about through the final weeks of his life.
“It’s still very hard to get a film or a TV show on the air,” he told the Daily Beast in February. “It’s very, very difficult to get any type of pure vision out anywhere. But we’re trying. We’re still trying.”