Morris Chestnut, Ice Cube Remember ‘Master Filmmaker’ John Singleton

Boyz n The Hood (Columbia Pictures)

John Singleton died Monday in Los Angeles at age 51 from complications of a stroke. As news of his death spread, the iconic filmmaker was remembered by his friends and former colleagues for opening doors and offering a true representation on-screen of the struggles of inner-city life in Boyz N the Hood.

Morris Chestnut and Ice Cube, who Singleton cast in their first movie roles in the drama, thanked him for giving them “a chance” and for impacting the lives of so many others.

“John Singleton gave me a chance. When I left the audition for Boyz N’ The Hood as he shook my hand, he gave me a stronger grip than normal and looked me in the eye. I felt he was basically giving me a signal that I had the job without telling me,” Chestnut wrote on Instagram. “From there, there was no comprehension of the massive chain of events that was about to follow. People from all over the world literally tell me how they’re affected by Boyz ‘N The Hood.”

Read More: John Singleton, Groundbreaking ‘Boyz N the Hood’ Director, Dies at 51

Ice Cube added on Twitter: “I was discovered by a master filmmaker by the name of John Singleton. He not only made me a movie star but made me a filmmaker. There are no words to express how sad I am to lose my brother, friend & mentor. He loved [to] bring the black experience to the world.”

Regina King, who had roles in Boyz N the Hood and Poetic Justice tweeted a tribute mentioning Singleton’s tremendous talent.

“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,” she wrote.

Boyz N the Hood earned South Central Los Angeles native Singleton the distinction of becoming the youngest person, and the first African-American, ever nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. It also received a Best Screenplay nomination.

The film Academy tweeted a statement saying the legendary filmmaker will be “greatly missed.”

Read more tributes to John Singleton below: