Filmmaker John Singleton, who wrote and directed Boyz N the Hood— the popular 1991 film based on his upbringing — has died at the age of 51. The two-time Oscar-nominated director was taken off life support this morning, about two weeks after he suffered a major stroke.
WATCH: Inside the life of the famous director
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce that our beloved son, father and friend, John Daniel Singleton passed away today due to complications from a stroke he suffered last Wednesday,” his family wrote in a statement obtained by WHO. “John was a prolific, groundbreaking director who changed the game and opened doors in Hollywood, a world that was just a few miles away, yet worlds away, from the neighbourhood in which he grew up.”
“In his private life, John was a loving and supporting father, son, brother and friend who believed in higher education, black culture, old school music and the power of film,” it added. “John’s confidence in his place in Hollywood was only matched for his passion for the sea. John kayaked in Marina Del Rey every morning. His greatest joy, when not on set, was sailing on his boat, J’s Dream, up and down the Pacific Coast.”
Singleton, who became the first African-American and youngest person ever to be nominated for an Academy Award at the age of 24, suffered a major stroke after arriving home from a trip to Costa Rica. According to the New York Post, Singleton— who was also behind Poetic Justice, starring Janet Jackson—checked himself into hospital after experiencing weakness in his legs.
His family announced on April 29 that they'd decided to take him off life support.
“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 statement began.
Singleton went on to direct films such as Poetic Justice (1993), Higher Learning (1995), a remake of Shaft (2000) and the second instalment of Fast and the Furious.
An outpouring of love for his family has emerged since his death, with many celebrities including Snoop Dog, Ice Cube and Samuel L. Jackson paying tribute to the late star.
"I was discovered by a master filmmaker by the name of John Singleton. He not only made me a movie star but made me a filmmaker," Ice Cube Tweeted. "There are no words to express how sad I am to lose my brother, friend & mentor."
Singleton is survived by his five children.