Oscar-nominated director John Singleton – known for films including Boyz N The Hood and his remake of detective movie Shaft – has died at the age of 51.
A family statement confirmed the influential filmmaker fell ill in hospital last Wednesday and had been admitted to intensive care.
Born in Los Angeles, Singleton acted as a trailblazer for African-American directors throughout the 1990s.
In 1992, he became the youngest Oscar-nominated director for Boyz N The Hood.
The film’s success also meant that Singleton become the first African-American filmmaker to be nominated for the best director Oscar. He also received a second nomination for best original screenplay.
Singleton also produced 2003’s 2 Fast 2 Furious.
A graduate of USC School of Cinematic Arts, 1991’s Boyz N the Hood – written when he was just 24 alongside producer Steve Nicolaides – addressed themes of inner-city violence in Los Angeles.
It was a breakout role for actors Angela Bassett, Nia Long and Cuba Gooding J, who went on to win an Oscar for Jerry Maguire. It also marked the film debut for rapper Ice Cube.
Singleton’s family said, “Like many African Americans, Singleton quietly struggled with hypertension. More than 40% of African American men and women have high blood pressure, which also develops earlier in life and is usually more severe. His family wants to share the message with all to please recognize the symptoms by going to Heart.org.”
The family added, “We who have grown up with John, made movies with him, sailed with John and laughed with John, know the universe of calm and creativity he created for so many. Now in the wake of his death, we must navigate the storm without him. It is, for us, heartbreaking.”
Singleton was married only once … to Ghanaian actress Akosua Gyamama Busia in October 1996. They divorced a year later.
He s survived by his mom and seven children.