Tyler Perry's Bio

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Tyler Perry
Emmitt R. Perry Jr. was born September 13, 1969 in New Orleans, Louisiana in the United States. Perry is an American playwright, screenwriter, actor, director, and producer of Indie films and stage plays. His best known character is “Madea”, who is a physically impressive and overbearing but well intentioned woman who serves both as comic relief and as the loud voice of ethics for the protagonists of Tyler Perry’s work.

In Perry’s younger years, he changed his first name to Tyler because of his troubled relationship with his father. Emmitt Sr. was physically and verbally abusive to Perry during his childhood and the situation contributed to his attempt of suicide as a teenager. Perry dropped out of school when he was sixteen, but he later went back to achieve his GED. Perry was also a child of four and was marked by poverty.

Perry's first expedition into writing was in 1992, when he began writing a journal, in part to manage with the repercussions of abuse. He was inspired to begin a journal after watching The Oprah Winfrey Show. Tyler Perry developed different characters to voice different ideas in the journal. This work eventually became the musical I Know I've Been Changed, about adult survivors of child abuse. Perry saved $12,000, moved to Atlanta in 1992, and tried to stage the play. It was not a success. Over the next six years, Perry struggled in Atlanta, at times he was homeless, but persevered until the play finally had a successful run in 1998, first at the House of Blues and later at the Fox Theater. Perry, whose work is aimed at the African-American audience, ultimately created a successful touring theater company. Recordings of some of the plays were then sold on video and DVD. As of March 2005, the plays had grossed over $75 million in ticket sales and DVD sales. Perry's success is notable as his theater company did not have substantial publicity or corporate backing, and most of his patrons were from the underserved urban...
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