John Singleton biography
Date of Birth: January 6, 1968
Son of a mortgage broker and a pharmaceutical company sales executive, this Los Angeles-born director
was raised in separate households by his unmarried parents.
Singleton attended the Filmic Writing Program
at USC after graduating from high school in 1986. While studying there, he won three writing awards
from the university, which lead to a contract with Creative Artists Agency during his sophomore year.
Columbia Pictures bought his script for Boyz N The Hood (1991) and budgeted it at $7 million.
Singleton notes that much of the story comes from his own experiences in South Central LA and credits
his parents with keeping him off the street.
The film's widespread acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival that year extended to American audiences and
critics that summer. Boyz was remembered by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences the
following February, when Singleton garnered two Oscar nominations: one for Best Original Screenplay
and the other for Best Director--becoming the first African-American and the youngest person to be
nominated for the latter honor.
His next three films didn't match the critical and financial success of Boyz -- 1993's Poetic Justice, a surrealistic probe of street violence distinguished by the
performance of Janet Jackson; 1994's Higher Learning, a sledgehammer study of racial polarization in America's colleges; and Shaft , a remake of the popular film and television show about a private eye in New York.
He went on to land the job of directing 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), a sequel to 2001's highly successful The Fast and the Furious.
Singleton married actress Akosua Busia, who landed a role in his film Rosewood (1997). The marriage lasted less than a year, but produced a daughter, Hadar.
He also has a daughter, Cleopatra, from a previous relationship.
John Singleton Filmography