Legendary writer, director, and producer John Singleton is dead at 51, the LA Times reports. The filmmaker suffered a stroke earlier this month and later fell into a coma. He died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Singleton's family announced that they were taking the famed director off of life support Monday morning, following some premature reports of his death. "It is with heavy hearts we announce that our beloved son, father and friend, John Daniel Singleton will be taken off of life support today. 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, according to Deadline.
"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."
In 1992, then-24-year-old Singleton became the youngest director and the first African American to earn a Best Director Oscar nomination for his debut movie, Boyz N the Hood. He went on to write and direct Higher Learning, the 2000 Shaft remake, and Poetic Justice, starring Tupac Shakur. Recently, Singleton co-created the FX drama series Snowfall, about the origins of the crack epidemic in 1980s Los Angeles.
"John was such a supernova in his youth that we forget that he was only beginning to fully assert his gifts as a director," the statement continued. "Kurosawa was 52 when he directed High Low. Hitchcock was 56 when he directed To Catch a Thief. As much as we will treasure his body of work, we were looking forward to the films John would have made in the years ahead."
There has been an enormous outpouring of support and admiration for Singleton ever since he was hospitalized April 17, with everyone from Snoop Dogg to William Friedkin to Pose creator Steven Canals taking to social media to express the impact the director had on their lives. "There was a time when I was struggling to pay my bills in film school and not sure this town was for me," Shonda Rhimes wrote in an Instagram post last weekend. "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."
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