Cuba Gooding Jr. has paid tribute to his Boyz N The Hood director John Singleton, after saying a final farewell to the filmmaker in person in hospital before his death.
The Oscar-nominated director suffered a stroke on 17 April, after which he was put on life support at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, with his family making the difficult decision to pull the plug and let him go on Monday.
After Singleton’s death was confirmed, many of his peers paid tribute, with Cuba – who starred in the 1991 movie – among the first to honour the acclaimed movie veteran.
“I was able yesterday to sit with John privately and whispered in his ear that I loved him and thanked him for starting my career,” Cuba told Entertainment Tonight in a statement. “Then I was able to pray with his family… They are strong.”
Regina King, who collaborated with John on various projects, shared a slideshow of pictures of the pair together on Instagram and wrote: “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 what you mean to me. Will always love you John! Your spirit will forever shine bright.”
Directors Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, Kevin Smith and Ron Howard praised John for changing the landscape of film with his movies, while Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan credited him for helping to shape his career.
“Like many of us when I heard the news I wished it wasn’t true,” he wrote. “John is a true visionary and social leader. Through his arts he shared many of our truths, and 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.”
Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis, Jada Pinkett Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, Janelle Monae and Rose McGowan were among the other screen stars paying tribute to John, while Janet Jackson also remembered the filmmaker fondly.
Janet, who made her movie debut in 1993 offering Poetic Justice, directed by John, shared a snap of herself and the late star and wrote: “You gave me my first movie role, my first Oscar nomination and so much more,” she wrote alongside a series of sweet throwback photos of the pair. “Thank you for all you have given to the world through your work and all you have done for Black culture, women and young filmmakers. I will miss you John. Keeping your family in my prayers.