Saturday, May 18, 2024

John Singleton Passes Away at Age 51, Trailblazer Was Youngest Director Nominated for the Oscar, And First Black Person Nominated for Best Director


UPDATE Singleton died either yesterday, and the family withheld the news. Or he passed this afternoon. It’s unclear. And it doesn’t matter.

The main thing about John was that he was the youngest person ever to be nominated for Best Director, and first black person, for “Boyz in the Hood.” That we’ve lost him at age 51 is just a towering tragedy. His life has been cut short and we are the worse for it.

Samuel L. Jackson among many expressed his grief on Twitter: “Mourning the loss of a collaborator & True Friend John Singleton. He blazed the trail for many young film makers, always remaining true to who he was & where he came from!!! RIP Brother. Gone Way Too Soon!”

Everyone please take your beta blockers and blood thinners tonight!

EARLIER TODAY John Singleton’s family has announced they’re taking him off life support. He had a stroke on April 17th and never recovered. He turned 51 last January.

As I’ve said before, I so enjoyed John and the times that we spent together at many social events, especially the Oscars. He came to the show every year and loved to hang out in the bar off the stage. He’s been a great guy to talk movies with and Hollywood. He will be sorely missed for that, as well as being a ground breaking director. I hope his family can contain their infighting and figure out a way to show John some respect now.

Here’s their statement:

“We are grateful to his fans, friends and colleagues for the outpouring of love and prayers during this incredibly difficult time. We want to thank all the doctors at Cedars Sinai for the impeccable care he received,” the family said in a statement.

“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”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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