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John Singleton

John Singleton

Producer, director and screenwriter John Singleton exploded onto the scene in 1991 with his first film, Boyz N the Hood, a tough, intelligent, plain-speaking look at a group of friends in gang-ridden South Central Los Angeles. Boyz N the Hood earned Singleton Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director and the honor of being the first African-American (and the youngest filmmaker ever) to receive these simultaneous nominations. The filmmaker also garnered a long list of additional awards for his debut motion picture, including: LAFCA New Generation Award, the MTV Movie Award for Best New Filmmaker (1992), the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best New Director (1991), and the ShoWest Award for Screenwriter of the Year and a Special Award for Directorial Debut of the Year (1992).

The filmmaker next wrote, directed and produced the Janet Jackson starrer Poetic Justice, a sensitive film about a young poet; it also stars Tupac Shakur and Regina King. The university-set educational drama Higher Learning followed (with Singleton again wearing three hats as producer/director/writer), which stars a large ensemble cast featuring Omar Epps, Laurence Fishburne, Ice Cube, Jennifer Connelly, Michael Rappaport, Cole Hauser and Kristy Swanson, among others.

In 1997, Singleton directed the hard-hitting historical drama Rosewood, telling the story of the extinguishing, in 1923, of the predominantly Black town of Rosewood, Florida, because of racial hatred and lies. The film, scripted by Gregory Poirier, stars Ving Rhames, Jon Voight, Don Cheadle and Esther Rolle. In 2000, Singleton re-envisioned a classic hero for the new Millennium, returning Shaft to the screen. Samuel L. Jackson stars as the title character, in a project again produced (with Scott Rudin and Mark Roybal), written (along with Richard Price and Shane Salerno) and directed by Singleton; it also stars Vanessa Williams, Busta Rhymes, Christian Bale and Richard Roundtree.

A decade after his searing filmic exploration of South Central Los Angeles, Singleton returned there as the setting for his most recent film, Baby Boy, on which he served as producer, writer and director. The film stars R&B singer/actor Tyrese, Ving Rhames, Snoop Dogg and newcomer Taraji P. Henson and received four NAACP nominations.

The filmmaker's career began while attending the Filmic Writing Program at USC, where he won three writing awards (the Jack Nicholson Award in 1989 and 1990 and the Robert Riskin Award in 1989) from the university; this led to representation with Creative Artists Agency during his senior year and the sale of his script, Boyz N the Hood.

Singleton has also directed high-profile television commercials (Coca-Cola, AT&T and Burger King) and music videos (Michael Jackson).

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

John Singleton Facts

Birth NameJohn Daniel Singleton
OccupationDirector, Producer, Screenwriter
BirthdayJanuary 6, 1968 (55)
BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, USA
Height5' 6" (1m68)  How tall is John Singleton compared to you?
Awards1992 MTV Movie Awards: Best New Filmmaker (for Boyz N The Hood)

Selected Filmography

Fast & Furious: The Ultimate Ride Collection
2 Fast 2 Furious
Fast & Furious 7-Movie Collection
Fast & Furious 1-7 Collection ? Limited Edition
Poetic Justice
Boyz n' The Hood
Fast & Furious: 1-5 Bundle
Fast & Furious 6-Movie Collection
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