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  • Faith: Christian
  • Career: Actor
  • Birthday:  September 13, 1969

Tyler Perry is a filmmaker, actor, and playwright. He’s the performer and creator of Mabel “Madea” Simmons, a tough elderly woman and also plays her brother, Joe Simmons and her nephew, Brian Simmons. His films vary in style from orthodox filmmaking techniques to filmed productions of live stage plays, most of which have been subsequently adapted into feature films. Madea’s first appearance was in Perry’s play “I Can Do Bad All by Myself,” staged in Chicago. Perry wrote and produced many stage plays during the 1990s and early 2000s. His breakthrough performance came in 2005 with the film “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” which he wrote and produced as an adaptation of his stage play of the same name.

He also developed numerous television series, most notably “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” which ran for eight seasons on TBS from 2006 to 2012. In 2011, Forbes listed him as the highest-paid man in entertainment, earning $130 million between May 2010 and May 2011. In 2012, Perry struck an exclusive multi-year partnership with Oprah Winfrey and her Oprah Winfrey Network. The deal featured scripted projects like “The Haves and the Have Nots.” In 2019, Perry produced the political drama series “The Oval” for BET. Outside of his productions, Perry has been cast in several Hollywood movies, including “Star Trek,” “Alex Cross,” “Gone Girl,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” and “Don’t Look Up.” He’s also done voice acting for animated movies like “PAW Patrol: The Movie” and “The Star.”

His shows and films have cumulatively grossed over $660 million, and his net worth is an estimated $1 billion. Despite commercial success, his productions have received criticism from scholars and critics who believe his movies perpetuate offensive or negative portrayals of Black people, along with the critical reception itself being largely negative. In 2020, Perry was included in Time’s list of the 100 most influential people and received the Governor’s Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Additionally, he received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy Awards in 2021 and was inducted into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame the following year.

Perry was born Emmitt Perry Jr. in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Emmitt Perry Sr. and Willie Maxine Perry. He has three siblings. In retrospect, his childhood was described as a “living hell.” In contrast to his father, his mother took him to church every week, where he sensed a certain refuge and contentment. When he was 16, his first name was legally changed from Emmitt to Tyler to distance himself from his father.

What religion is Tyler Perry?

Perry identifies as a Christian. Many of the themes in his work reflect social behavior and theology indicative of the predominantly Black church culture, like the many scenes in both his screenwork and stage plays that feature church settings and worship styles commonly found in predominantly Black churches, including showcases of gospel artists and music.

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