Writer, actor, producer, and director Tyler Perry has built an entertainment empire consisting of successful films, plays and a best-selling book. Initially known for his work on an adaptation of T. D. Jakes's book Woman, Thou Art Loosed, it was his next project that shot him to stardom; bringing to life his most famous character, Madea. The gun-toting, sharp-tongued grandma first appeared in his 2000 play, I Can Do Bad All by Myself. Madea, played by Perry himself, developed a huge following resulting in a series of plays and movies including the 2011 Madea’s Big Happy Family. Born into poverty with an abusive father, Perry believes that the pain he has experienced in his life has molded him into the man that he is, affording him the opportunity to inspire others through his work to be stronger and live better lives.