Tyler Perry Biography

Tyler Perry is a versatile persona who has made a name for himself as an actor, screenwriter, playwright, director, producer, author, and songwriter. He gained immense fame and success with his TV series, ‘Tyler Perry’s House of Payne’, making him one of the highest earning individuals in the entertainment industry in 2011. Perry’s plays, films, and sitcoms, which revolve around the lives of African-American households, are known for their dramatic and satirical tones. His iconic character, ‘Madea’, a wise and brave grandmother, has become a symbol of strength and protection for family and friends. Inspired by his own mother, Perry created this character to celebrate and immortalize the strong black women in his life. Through his work, he explores the strengths, weaknesses, achievements, failures, and problems faced by the African-American community.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Emmitt Perry Jr.
  • Age: 54 Years, 54 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Father: Emmitt Perry Sr.
    • Mother: Willie Maxine Perry
    • Children: Aman Tyler Perry
    • Partner: Gelila Bekele (2009–2020)
  • Born Country: United States
  • Quotes By Tyler Perry
  • Billionaires
  • Height: 6’5″ (196 cm), 6’5″ Males
  • U.S. State: Louisiana, African-American From Louisiana
  • City: New Orleans, Louisiana

Childhood & Early Life

Tyler was born as Emmitt Perry, Jr. to Emmitt Perry, Sr. and Willie Maxine Perry and has three more siblings. As a child, he faced physical abuse from his father and even tried to commit suicide once – to save himself from the brutality. His mother was his only comfort, who would take him to the church every Sunday. At the age of 16, he changed his name from Emmitt to Tyler to keep himself aloof from his father. He also dropped out from high school and later earned a General Educational Development (GED) degree.

Inspiration to Write

While watching an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s talk show, he heard a comment from someone who stated, writing can help overcome depression and provides strength. Inspired by the remark, he began writing letters addressed to himself which later served as the basis for the musical ‘I Know I’ve Been Changed’. The play was staged for the first time in 1992 in Atlanta.


Financially weak, Perry staged the musical in several other places and did several odd jobs. At one point, he even lived in his car, yet he did not give up and rewrote and reproduced the musical repeatedly. From 1998 to 2000, his play, ‘I Know I’ve Been Changed’ was finally liked by the critics and was staged at many places. He came up with next play ‘I Can Do Bad All by Myself’ in 2000, which was an instant hit. In the play ‘Madea’, the central character, who was modeled after his mother and was played by Perry himself, stole the show. He produced ‘Diary of a Mad Black Woman’ in 2001, followed by ‘Madea’s Family Reunion’ the next year and both received positive reviews. After coming up with ‘Madea’s Class Reunion’ in 2003, he began touring to promote all of his plays. In 2005, he made a big move towards the silver screen and made his debut film ‘Diary of a Mad Black Woman’. The movie was a huge success, especially among the African-Americans. In 2006, he filmed ‘Madea’s Family Reunion’ playing the role of ‘Madea’ himself. Following the success of the movie, he founded his own studio in Atlanta. On June 21, 2006, he launched his own television series ‘Tyler Perry’s House of Payne’ on TBS cable network. In 2006, he published his book, ‘Don’t Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea’s Uninhibited Commentaries on Love and Life’ which became a best-seller. His next venture was the romantic comedy-drama film, ‘Daddy’s Little Girls’ in 2007. In 2008, he released ‘Meet the Browns’. It was so successful that they adapted it for a television sitcom the next year. ‘Madea Goes to Jail’ released in 2009 and was a massive success. Released a couple of years later, his comedy-drama film ‘Madea’s Big Happy Family’ took the box-office by storm. On March 29, 2013, he released ‘Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor’, a drama-thriller.

Major Works

Perry’s most famous film, which earned a number of awards and nominations, is the romantic comedy-drama film ‘Diary of a Mad Black Woman’. Made with a humble budget of $5.5 million, the movie garnered a huge sum of $50.6 million, at the box-office. ‘Tyler Perry’s House of Payne’ a comedy-drama series, was an immensely successful TV sitcom. It had a total of 254 episodes which exceeded any other TV series.

Awards & Achievements

Perry was awarded two BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards for ‘Diary of a Mad Black Woman – the first in ‘Outstanding Actor in a Theatrical Film’ category and the second in ‘Outstanding Writing for Theatrical Film’ category. In 2021, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bestowed upon Perry the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

Personal Life & Legacy

He funded a camp for 65 children from Philadelphia to visit ‘Walt Disney World’, on July 20, 2009. He calls himself a Christian and is very dedicated to the Black church. He is a good friend of actor Will Smith, singer Janet Jackson and host/actress Oprah Winfrey.


This actor, director, producer and screenwriter attended high school with the famous rapper Mystikal.

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