David Rodriguez, Director-Producer of 'Animal Kingdom' and 'The Chi', Dies at 50

Producer-Director David Rodriguez
Parrish Lewis

On the television side, his recent credits include the final season premiere of the Starz hit series 'Power,' and producing and directing the first season of Showtime's 'The Chi.'

David Rodriguez, a director and producer for series such as TNT's Animal Kingdom, Showtime's The Chi and Starz's Power, has died. He was 50.

Rodriguez died Oct. 29 from complications from a stroke, a CAA representative has confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. 

Rodriguez is known for his work as a director, producer and writer in myriad film and television shows. He served as the co-executive producer/director on TNT’s Animal Kingdom for John Wells Productions (2018-19) and directed multiples episodes of the Starz series Hightown for Jerry Bruckheimer Television.

On the television side, his recent credits include the final season premiere of the Starz hit series Power, and producing and directing the first season of Showtime's The Chi. Other directing credits include Queen of the South, Outsiders and episodes in Dick Wolf's Chicago franchises.

In film, Rodriguez also wrote, produced and directed the Chris Evans starrer Push (2006), American Bully (2009) and Once Upon a Time in Queens (2013), starring Paul Sorvino.

Born in 1970 and raised in the Bronx by parents Millie and J.B. "David" Rodriguez, Rodriguez attended the New York Military Academy in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York. He went on to enlist and serve in the United States Marine Corps following his graduation. Rodriguez also worked as a Corrections and Law Enforcement officer, including as an undercover narcotics officer in South Florida. He then decided to venture into the entertainment industry in 2003 to pursue his dream of becoming a director.

In addition to his work behind the screen, Rodriguez was a member of the DGA and served on the guild’s Western Directors Council and twice as co-chair of the guild’s Latino Committee.

Rodriguez is survived by his wife, Renee Props Rodriguez, and sons Mitchell, Colin, Brendan and Anthony Rodriguez. He is also survived by his mother Milagros Rodriguez, and sisters Janet Rodriguez Campbell and Jackie Rodriguez Parker.

Donations in Rodriguez’s memory can be made here. A celebration of Rodriguez’s life is set to be held in Los Angeles, with a date to be announced at a later time.