I am deeply shocked and saddened by the untimely death of my friend, the legendary director John Singleton, whom I have known since 1991 when his iconic film, Boyz n the Hood, was released.
Just a couple of weeks ago he had asked me to go to the Sony Lot to help him pick several photos from Boyz to be used at The Academy Award’s 90th Anniversary show next year. This was to have been followed by lunch (my treat, he said!).
I was privileged to have overseen the worldwide home entertainment publicity for this groundbreaking film (and for several of his subsequent films distributed by Columbia Pictures).
John was always appreciative. Over the years we developed a unique bond – he always called me “Fritzy” – laughing, talking about film and the importance of diversity and just having silly fun. He was smart as a whip, well-read and well-versed in literature and film history.
John was also exceedingly generous with his time and so very patient with my countless asks like speaking at my public relations class at The Annenberg School at the University of Southern California, or making a special appearance at various diversity events.
If his schedule permitted it, he was there.
From my perspective, John never took for granted the blessings bestowed on him, and his unique cinematic vision and deep sense of humanity were profoundly intermingled in his art.
It was my honor to have arranged for John to receive his well-deserved star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. This photo captures that happy day when he received his Star. And now when I think of John, this glorious image is what will appear in my heart.
Requiescat in pace.
Fritz Friedman is the former SVP of worldwide marketing at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.