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A list of actors and actresses who became stars after starring in John Singleton’s films.

Stars Who Got Their Big Break In John Singleton Movies  was originally published on

1. Cuba Gooding Jr.

Cuba Gooding Jr. Source:Getty

Cuba’s acting career began in 1986 but it wasn’t until his role as “Tre” in “Boyz n The Hood” where we learned that this young man was destined to be a leading man and his acting chops were going to make him millions in some of the most famous (and infamous) movies of all time.

2. Ludacris

Ludacris Source:Getty

Before “2 Fast 2 Furious”, Ludacris was just throwing bows’ and appearing in video shorts. This small role ended up landing him as a regular in one of the highest grossing movie franchises of all time.

3. Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson Source:Getty

If you’ve heard Taraji’s story, you know that she was on her grind for a while before she landed her first major role as Yvette in John Singleton’s “Baby Boy.” Now she’s one of the most beloved Black actresses in Hollywood.

4. Michael Rapaport

5. Nia Long

Nia Long Source:Getty

Hands down, Nia Long was the it-girl in the 90s. It seemed like she was either charming us or breaking hearts in every movie and TV show but it all started with her first major role as Brandi in “Boyz n The Hood.”

6. Tyrese

Tyrese Source:Getty

You may have known Tyrese from singing on the back of the bus in that Coca Cola commercial or you could have caught him that one time on “Moesha” but his first major role was in “Baby Boy”….and you know where that led him.

7. Ice Cube

Ice Cube Source:Getty

We can’t help but think that Cube’s role as “Doughboy” is the foundation for what started a surprisingly long acting career for the rapper.

8. Joe Torry

Joe Torry Source:Joe Torry

Everyone remembers “Chicago” from “Poetic Justice”!!!!

9. Morris Chestnut

Morris Chestnut Source:Getty

Morris Chestnut will forever be tied to the role of “Ricky” in “Boyz n The Hood”. Ricky’s death scene is one of the most tragic scenes in all of cinema and the heartbreaking story line was the beginning of Chestnut’s long career.

10. HONORABLE MENTION: Angela Bassett

HONORABLE MENTION: Angela Bassett Source:Getty

There’s no doubt that 1993’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It” is Bassett’s breakout role but her small role as Tre’s mom in “Boyz n The Hood” two years prior was a memorable glimpse of what was to come.