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6-min read

John Singleton Passes Away at 51, Hollywood Stars Pay Tribute to 2 Fast 2 Furious Director

Hollywood celebrities like Regina King, Samuel L Jackson and Jordan Peele among many remembered illustrious writer-director John Singleton, who passed away at the age of 51.

PTI

Updated:April 30, 2019, 1:45 PM IST
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John Singleton Passes Away at 51, Hollywood Stars Pay Tribute to 2 Fast 2 Furious Director
Hollywood celebrities like Regina King, Samuel L Jackson and Jordan Peele among many remembered illustrious writer-director John Singleton, who passed away at the age of 51.

Hollywood celebrities like Regina King, Samuel L Jackson and Jordan Peele among many remembered illustrious writer-director John Singleton, who passed away at the age of 51.

The family of the Oscar-nominated director, known for critical and commercial hits such as "Boyz n the Hood" and "Shaft", took him off life support Monday after he suffered a major stroke on April 17.

"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," a spokesperson for the family told Deadline.

Singleton's 1991 drama "Boyz N the Hood" earned him the badge of becoming the first African American and youngest person to ever be nominated for best director, earning his invite to the Oscars at age 24.

King, who worked with the filmmaker on "Boyz n The Hood", "Higher Power" and "Poetic Justice", said he was "one of the greatest to ever do it". "Rest In Power, my friend. One of the greatest to ever do it. Thank you GOD for blessing us with this gift better known as John Singleton. Having trouble finding enough words to share just," she wrote.

Jackson, who worked with Singleton in "Shaft", tweeted that the director was a trailblazer for many up-and-coming talents. "Mourning the loss of a collaborator and 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!" he wrote.

Calling Singleton a "brave artist and a true inspiration", Peele said his vision "changed everything".

Viola Davis said Singleton inspired a generation of artists. "We will shoulder on... 'May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest". RIP," Davis said.

"Fast and Furious" star Vin Diesel called the director "a hero for so many... and affected all of our lives".

Rapper-actor Ice Cube paid his respects to the "master filmmaker" who discovered him. "He not only made me a movie star but made me a filmmaker. There are no words to express how sad I am to lose my brother, friend & mentor. He loved bring the black experience to the world," Ice Cube wrote alongside a photo with Singleton at Cannes Film Festival 1990.

Director Ava DuVernay called Singleton "a giant among" the tribe.

Spike Lee wrote an emotional post on Instagram, saying he will forever miss his "brother". "With His Passion, His Heart, The Way He Talked About His Love For Cinema And Black Folks I Could See John Would Make It Happen, And He Did. From Day One, We Have Remained Close Over The Decades, Cheering Each Other On In This Industry That Is Not Set Up For Us To Win. John Singleton's Films Will Live On Forever. Blessings And Prayers For His Family. May John Rest In Power. Amen (sic)" Lee wrote.

Horror master John Carpenter said, "Singleton was a talented director and a kind man. He died too young. He will be missed."

"This one cuts deep. You'll never be forgotten. Cause your work will live on," writer-actor Lena Waithe.

Writer Larry Karaszewski said the director lived every minute of his 51 years. "I'm going to miss laughing, talking movies, watching movies, making movies with this amazing human being. Love you buddy. Condolences to Justice and his whole family," Karaszewski wrote on the microblogging site.

Rap god Snoop Dogg thanked the director for creating space for the black community in cinema.

"Thank you for all that you gave to the world the movies the messages the opportunities to so many people like myself to grace the big screen in a major role with major black actors you were and will allways be black excellence love you for life and beyond," he wrote.

Rappers Chance and Common singled out Singleton directed 1992 hit music video, "Remember the time", which starred Michael Jackson, also featuring Eddie Murphy and Iman.

"Rest up John Singleton. We never met, but 'Remember The Time' literally changed my life. Thank you so much. God Bless you," Chance wrote.

"Not only did John make movies for us and our culture, he made one of the most iconic videos ever! It showed the world what Egyptians really looked like! Again I say, THANK YOU! May God bless the soul of John Singleton," Common tweeted along with a photo of the director, Jackson, Murphy and Iman from the sets of the song.

"Black Panther" star Michael B Jordan said Singleton shared "many of our truths", through his art.

"I can honestly say without his works I may have not been given the chance to express myself in this industry. I'm posting this not in his memory but to speak positive energy around his spirit. So we can have more time with him and his soul," Jordan wrote on Instagram.

"The Big Bang Theory" star Mayim Bialik called Singleton an "incredible talent". "He was the first African American AND the youngest person to ever be nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards... He will be missed," Bialik tweeted.

Singleton joined the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in 1990, served three terms as a member of the Western Directors Council and was the co-chair of the African American Steering Committee. His work on "American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson" earned him a DGA Award nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Dramatic Series in 2016.

"I was so fortunate to be a collaborator with John on the show 'Snowfall' and witnessed first-hand the enormous impact he had on so many... Our hearts are heavier today at the DGA, as we mourn this tremendous loss," DGA president Thomas Schlamme said in a statement.

In recent years, Singleton served as producer-director on television series "Billions" and "Empire".

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