Director and producer David Rodriguez (The Chi, Animal Kingdom) died on Sunday of a stroke, according to Variety. He was 50.
Raised in South Bronx and Long Island, Rodriguez attended the New York Military Academy and later enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Before attending the entertainment industry in the early 2000s, he served as a corrections and law enforcement officer in South Florida.
Prior to his work on Showtime’s The Chi, Rodriguez produced and directed several films, the first of which being in 2006’s Push starring Chris Evans (Avengers, Captain America: The First Avenger) and Dakota Fanning (The Alienist, I Am Sam). His film American Bully was released in 2009 followed by Mineville in 2010. After a career primarily in film, he shifted to the TV industry, Rodriguez became a co-executive producer the newly released drama The Chi, which surrounds the lives of a group of kids growing up in the South Side of Chicago. He also directed separate episodes for Scandal, Chicago Med, What/If, Power, Chicago P.D., and S.W.A.T.
Most recently, Rodriguez was involved in producing episodes of TNT’s Animal Kingdom between 2018 and 2019, and later directing an episode of ABC’s Stumptown and two episodes of Starz’s Hightown. He is survived by his wife, mother, four sons, and two sisters.