Born into poverty and raised in a household scarred by abuse, Tyler Perry developed strength, faith and perseverance that would form the foundations of his plays, films, books and shows. A simple piece of advice from Oprah Winfrey set his career in motion as a diary of his daily thoughts and experiences led to his writing a musical, I Know I’ve Been Changed, in 1992. Five years later, with no money left, Perry was sleeping in seedy motels and his car, but his faith in himself and God got only stronger, allowing him to forge ahead. In 1998, his perseverance paid off when the play began a limited church run. The community came out in droves and Perry never looked back as he began an incredible run of eight plays in eight years.
The character Madea debuted in 2000’s I Can Do Bad All by Myself and spawned three more plays, leading to Perry’s jump to the big screen with 2005’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman, which debuted at No. 1 nationwide. He followed with 12 more films that were all met with massive fan support and commercial success and have grossed more than a billion dollars collectively. In April 2013, his 34th Street films banner released its first title, Peeples, starring Kerry Washington.
Perry’s book, Don’t Make A Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea’s Uninhibited Commentaries On Life and Love, shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list and claimed two Quill Book Awards. In 2007, Perry expanded his brand to television with House of Payne, the highest-rated first-run syndicated cable show of all time, and followed that up with Meet the Browns and For Better or Worse. This month, he will join forces with Oprah Winfrey’s OWN to debut two new television shows, The Haves and the Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor.