A graduate of The USC School of Cinema-Television, and intern to Arsenio Hall, John Singleton pushed his way into the nation’s consciousness with 1991’s Boyz N The Hood. Originally titled Summer Of ’84, the film was made on a budget of just under $7 million dollars-but grossed over $57 million. Singleton also garnered two Academy Award nominations for Best Director & Best Original Screenplay. Singleton was the first Black Director to ever be nominated for a Best Director Oscar-and the youngest. And on his very first film. Marinate on that… Boyz N The Hood also helped launch and/or accelerate the acting careers of Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Regina King, and more.
After the success of Boyz N The Hood, John Singleton followed up with Poetic Justice in 1991, the hard-hitting Higher Learning in 1995, and the largely underrated historical drama Rosewood in 1997. In between that time, he also directed the short film/music videos, Remember The Times & Dangerous, for Michael Jackson. Other writing and/or directing credits include:
- Shaft (2000)
- Baby Boy (2001)
- 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
- Four Brothers (2005)
- Snowfall (TV Series 2017-the present)
Along with his peers of the time (Spike Lee, Robert Townsend, Matty Rich, The Hughes Brothers, etc), John Singleton is universally credited as an inspiration to so many of the Black filmmakers that would come since the nineties. He is also the man that put the spotlight on other highly coveted actors and actresses, such as Taraji Henson, Tyrese Gibson, and more. In 2003, John was immortalized with a star on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame. John Singleton was only 51 years old, at the time of his passing. But his memory will live on forever…