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Tyler Perry Biography

The mastermind behind over 20 feature films, 20 stage plays, seven television shows, and a New York Times bestselling book, Tyler Perry has built an empire that has attracted audiences and built communities. Celebrated “among the pantheon of today’s greatest cinematic innovators,” his unique blend of spiritual hope and down-home humor continues to shape his inspiring life story, connecting with fans across the globe.

Perry’s legacy is the modern epitome of the American dream. Born and raised in New Orleans, his childhood was marked by poverty and a household scarred by abuse. From a young age, he learned to write down his daily thoughts and experiences in a series of soul-searching letters to himself – advice he learned from Oprah Winfrey that ultimately set his career in motion. Characterized by strength, faith, and determination during a turbulent adolescence, these letters provided Perry with the inspiration to delve into writing his first play, I Know I’ve Been Changed in 1992. Saving every last dollar, Perry staged the play for what he hoped would be a packed audience, but the seats remained empty. Never would he have imagined that six years later, that same play would sell out during a local run, forcing the production to move to the acclaimed Fox Theatre in Atlanta, or that in 2015, his original play, Madea on the Run, would be sold out in theaters nationwide.

Newly established in the world of theater, he wrote thirteen plays over the next thirteen years, including Woman Thou Art Loosed! and I Can Do Bad All By Myself, the first appearance of renowned character Madea. Perry then made the leap to film in 2005 with Diary of a Mad Black Woman, which debuted at number one at the box office in the United States, followed by Madea’s Family Reunion, Daddy’s Little Girls, Why Did I Get Married?, Meet the Browns, The Family That Preys, and countless other celebrated hits.

In 2006, Perry published his first book, "Don’t Make A Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea’s Uninhibited Commentaries On Life And Love," which became a New York Times bestseller for eight straight weeks. It went on to claim Quill Book Awards for both Humor and Book of the Year and spread Perry’s unique brand of inspirational entertainment to a devoted new audience.

In 2007, Perry expanded his reach to television with the TBS series "House of Payne," the highest-rated first-run syndicated cable show of all time, which went into syndication after only a year. His follow-up effort, "Meet the Browns," was the second highest debut ever on cable – after "House of Payne." In late 2012, he teamed up with Oprah to bring scripted programming to her cable network, OWN, and launched with the half-hour-long sitcom, "Love Thy Neighbor," and the hour-long drama, "The Haves and The Have Nots," which made its debut in 2013 and has continued to break ratings on the network. In the fall of 2016, Perry debuted a brand new series and political drama, "Too Close to Home," on TLC.

In recent years, Perry has stepped out from behind the camera, starring in several films including Star Trek , Alex Cross, Gone Girl, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and Vice.

Not one to rest on his successes, in 2015 Tyler Perry Studios announced plans to expand operations in Atlanta with the acquisition of Fort McPherson. The studio has now made a home on over 330 acres. With that, Tyler Perry Studios welcomes more than 400 job opportunities to the Atlanta community across Tyler’s productions, as well as major feature films and television shows.

In 2015, Perry acquired the 330-acre former military base Fort McPherson located in Atlanta, which he converted to studios. Tyler Perry Studios is one of the largest film studios in the nation and established Tyler Perry as the first African-American to outright own a major film studio.

In 2019, Perry announced plans to retire his beloved character Madea. That same year, Perry staged a tour to honor his most famous character.

Perry is listed as TIME 100's Most Influential People of 2020.

All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Tyler Perry for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Tyler Perry speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Tyler Perry for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Tyler Perry speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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