LOS ANGELES — A private funeral service was held May 6 for Oscar-nominated director John Singleton, best known for his debut film, the South Los Angeles drama “Boyz n the Hood.”
Singleton died April 29 at age 51 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He had gone to the hospital complaining of leg pain and suffered a massive stroke on April 17. His family made the “agonizing decision” to remove him from life support 12 days later.
According to a family representative, the funeral service was a very small, intimate goodbye for family and very close friends that was not open to the public or media.
“The family is planning a larger memorial for John in a few weeks to celebrate his life,” the representative said.
No further details were released. TMZ.com reported that the service was held at Angelus Funeral Home in the Crenshaw district, followed by interment at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.
Singleton, who also directed “Poetic Justice,” “Higher Learning,” “2 Fast 2 Furious” and the 2000 remake of “Shaft,” grew up in South Los Angeles, attended USC and produced the A&E documentary “L.A. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later” in 2017.
He also co-created the FX series “Snowfall,” about the 1980s crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles. Its third season is scheduled to premiere in July, FX executives say. Singleton’s name will remain in the credits, according to TMZ.com.
It was Singleton’s directorial debut with “Boyz n the Hood,” for which he also wrote the screenplay, that defined his career. He received Oscar nominations for best director and best original screenplay. He was the first African American ever nominated for the best-director Oscar, as well as being the youngest-ever nominee in the category.
“John grew up in South Central L.A. with a love of cinema that showed itself early on,” said a family statement issued after his death. “He went on to become one of the most lauded graduates of the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
“Within months of graduating, John returned to South Central to shoot his debut feature, ‘Boyz n the Hood.’ The movie, which was unusually shot in sequence, masterfully captured a story of friendship, youth and the peril of hard choices in a community marred by gang violence.”
The family noted that Singleton took pride in providing opportunities to new talent, including Tupac Shakur, Regina King, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson.
“One of the greatest ever to do it,” King wrote on her Instagram page. “Thank you God for blessing us with this gift better known as John Singleton. Having trouble finding enough words to share just what you mean to me. Will always love you John! Your spirit will forever shine bright.”
Singleton’s family noted that “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.”
Singleton is survived by his mother, Sheila Ward; his father, Danny Singleton; and his children Justice, Maasai, Hadar, Cleopatra, Selenesol, Isis and Seven.
Wave Wire Services