Tyler Perry is an American born director, screenwriter, playwright, producer and most importantly, a distinguished actor. Tyler is famously known for r creating the Mabel Simmons (Madea) character. Forbes magazine named him the highest paid man in entertainment after earning an estimated $ 130 million between May 2010 and 2011.
Perry endured an unhappy childhood as a young boy in New Orleans, Louisiana. He once considered suicide in a bid to free himself from his father’s endless battering. The movie, ‘Precious’, made him relate for the first time the accounts of being molested by three men .In addition, he later came to realize that his ‘old man’ had molested his friend. Perry chose writing as a career path after watching an Oprah Winfrey talk show which described the act of writing as having a therapeutic effect. The basis of his musical, ‘I know I’ve been changed’ can be drawn back from a series of letters he wrote to himself. After relocating to Atlanta in the early 1990’s, ‘I know I’ve been changed’ was performed at a community theater. The musical did not garner enough support and failed financially. This did not deter him in any way; Perry created numerous stage productions and toured with them on the ‘chitlin’ circuit. This developed an immense and devoted support among African-Americans. Forbes later reported that he had sold $20 million in merchandising, $30 million in videos of his shows and a whopping $100 million in tickets alone. They also noted that his 300 live shows attracted an average of 35000 people a week.
A $5.5 million budget was later allocated to him. This was to be used in funding his first movie, ‘Diary of a Mad Black Woman’ which grossed $50.6 million in America. His following project, ‘Madea’s Family Reunion’ opened at number one at the box office with an estimated value of $30.3 million. This eventually rose to $65 million. The promotion of this film in the Oprah Winfrey Show was credited with its success. Perry later engaged in movies like ‘Diary’ and ‘Daddy’s Little Girls. He later produced and starred in his next masterpiece, ‘Why Did I Get Married?’. It grossed $21.4 million on its opening weekend. Subsequent films which includes, ‘Meet the Browns’ and ‘The Family That Preys’ also proved to be box-office success.
On 20th February 2009, ‘Madea’s Goes to Jail’ opened at number one grossing $41 million and becoming his largest opening. Perry also appeared in his first film (Star Trek) outside his own projects starring in a small role. Later that year, Tyler Perry and the iconic Oprah Winfrey presented ‘Precious’.
‘Why Did I Get Married Too?’ was later produced. It featured a star-studded cast of Janet Jackson, Jill Scott and Malik Yoba just to mention a few. The film grossed over $54 million in America. In 2011, Perry took over the role of James Patterson’s Alex Cross from Morgan Freeman. The film received negative reviews from critics but he was credited with positive reviews from both the critics and his audiences. Terry also produces a television show known as Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. It majorly follows on African American household of three generations and demonstrates the struggles of the family members.
Aside from winning numerous awards, Tyler Perry’s works mainly reflects themes like theology and social behavior of the African- American culture.