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‘Boyz n the Hood’ director John Singleton, first African-American nominated for a directing Oscar, passes away at 51

Director John Singleton attends the press room at the 2018 DGA Awards at the Beverly Hilton.
Director John Singleton attends the press room at the 2018 DGA Awards at the Beverly Hilton.

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Director John Singleton passed away on Monday after his family removed him from life support following a stroke that he suffered in mid-April.

The 51-year-old was the first African-American to earn an Oscar nomination for best director, which he received in 1991 for his film “Boyz n the Hood.” At age 24, he was also the youngest to ever earn an Oscar nomination for directing.

Singleton grew up in South-Central Los Angeles and attended film school at USC, where he parlayed his student thesis into the screenplay that would eventually become “Boyz n the Hood.” Singleton also directed the 1993 film “Poetic Justice, the 2000 remake of “Shaft” starring Samuel L. Jackson, and the second installment of the Fast and Furious series “2 Fast 2 Furious.” He had originally signed on to direct the Tupac Shakur biopic “All Eyez on Me,” but ended up leaving the project due to creative differences. Singleton was also a champion for black filmmakers, and spoke publicly about the need for more inclusion of directors of color.

Today on AirTalk, we remember John Singleton’s career as a filmmaker and the impact that his work and life had on Hollywood and the millions who loved his work.


Tim Cogshell, film critic for KPCC, Alt-Film Guide and; he tweets @CinemaInMind

Craig Brewer, director of “Hustle & Flow” and “Black Snake Moan”; both films were produced by Singleton; he tweets @MyBrewTube

Steve Nicolaides, film producer and longtime friend of John Singleton; he produced several of Singleton’s films, including “Boyz N the Hood,” “Poetic Justice,” and “Shaft”