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Tyler Perry's Biography: Son, net worth, most popular shows & industry scandals

According to a Forbes 2023 report, Perry is the 3rd highest paid entertainer in the world

Tyler Perry
  • Perry rose from humble beginnings to be a globally recognised figure in the entertainment industry
  • His journey to success began with the stage play 'I Know I've Been Changed' in 1992
  • Perry established Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, making him the first African American to own a major film studio outright

'Sisters', 'The Oval', and 'Beauty in Black' are popular film productions with one thing in common: Tyler Perry productions.

Tyler Perry has emerged as one of the greatest filmmakers in the world who rose from humble beginnings to be a globally recognised figure.

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Perry was born on 13 September 1969 and raised in New Orleans to Willie Maxine (Campbell) and Emmitt Perry, Sr. His mother was a churchgoer and took Perry along with her once a week.

His father was a carpenter, and they had a very strained and abusive relationship, which led Perry to suffer from depression as a teenager.

He later changed his name to disassociate himself from his father, attempted suicide, and dropped out of high school, although he eventually passed a high-school equivalency exam.

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After he heard television personality Oprah Winfrey suggest that writing down personal experiences could be psychologically helpful, Perry began to keep a journal, which evolved into his first play, 'I Know I’ve Been Changed.'

Perry's journey to success began with the stage play 'I Know I've Been Changed' in 1992, which he financed with his life savings from the odd jobs he did.

Initially, the play was a financial failure, leaving Perry homeless and living out of his car for a period. Despite these setbacks, his determination and belief in his work never wavered.

Perry continued to rework the production, and by 1998, the play found its audience, marking the beginning of his ascent in the entertainment industry.

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Perry’s second stage production, a 1999 adaptation of 'Woman, Thou Art Loosed!' by T.D. Jakes, grossed more than $5 million in five months.

Perry’s trademark character, Madea, was created in his play 'I Can Do Bad All by Myself' (2000; film 2009).

The brutally honest, rambunctious, gun-toting grandmother, whose name comes from the frequent African American contraction of 'Mother Dear,' was played by Perry in drag.

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Perry moved to feature films in 2005 by writing, producing, and acting in a screen version of 'Diary of a Mad Black Woman'.

Its feel-good narrative, in which Madea counsels her granddaughter through a failed marriage, helped Perry gain a wider audience.

He reprised the role of Madea in subsequent film adaptations of his plays, which he also produced and directed.

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A 2007 adaptation of his play 'Why Did I Get Married?' (2004), an exploration of modern relationships, allowed Perry to move beyond the Madea character on screen.

He additionally began writing and directing films that were not based on previous work, such as 'Daddy’s Little Girls' (2007) and 'The Family That Preys' (2008).

In addition to his film success, Perry has made significant strides in television. He created and produced several hit TV shows, including 'House of Payne' (2006-2012, 2020-present), 'Meet the Browns' (2009-2011), and 'The Haves and the Have Nots' (2013-2021).

His ability to tell compelling stories that reflect the complexities of African American life has earned him a loyal fan base and critical acclaim.

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A pinnacle of Perry's achievements is the establishment of Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 2015, Perry purchased 330 acres of a former army base, transforming it into one of the largest film studios in the world.

Officially opening in 2019, the studio boasts 12 soundstages, permanent sets, a residential neighbourhood, a golf course, two baseball fields, an airport terminal, a strip mall, a replica of the White House, and numerous other facilities.

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The studio is famous for producing successful films and TV series and has plans to expand to an entertainment district that will include theatres, retail shops, restaurants, and a Georgia film and TV museum.

This monumental development has made Perry the first African American to own a major film studio outright.

Tyler Perry Studios has become a hub for major film and television productions, including 'Black Panther' and 'The Walking Dead'.

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Despite the immense success Tyler Perry enjoys, he has occasionally come under attack for a number of reasons among them the belittlement of the black community in all most of his productions.

Some argue that for ages, Tyler Perry still writes the same plots about the black community in the U.S. being sad, abused or struggling.

Another prominent controversy Perry has faced involves allegations of plagiarism. Over the years, several writers and producers have accused Perry of using their work without proper credit.

Perry has also been put on the spot by comedian and actress Mo'Nique who said after working with him, he labelled her as difficult to work with among other issues.

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Some have also questioned Tyler Perry's appearance in his own films. Although he generally maintains a private life, the public's interest in his relationships and family life has occasionally brought unwelcome attention.

In December 2020, Perry announced that he was a single bachelor. Perry is, however, a father to one son, Aman Tyler Perry, whom he shares with his ex-girlfriend Gelila Bekele.

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Tyler dated Gelila from 2009 to 2020. They met at a concert and, as they say, the rest was history. They welcomed their son, Aman, in 2014.

Perry has brought in well over $1.4 billion in pretax earnings over a three-decade career creating and acting in TV shows, movies and stage plays.

He famously lent one of his Los Angeles homes to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle when they stepped down as senior members of the British royal family.

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Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

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