Last updated on June 23rd, 2017 at 11:54 am

Who is Tyler Perry?

Who is Tyler Perry

Recently Tyler Perry topped a list of the highest paid men in entertainment compiled by Forbes magazine. But who is he?

Recently Tyler Perry topped a list of the highest paid men in entertainment compiled by Forbes magazine. But who is he?

Many of you will have never heard of him, I don’t think I had when I first saw the list. But amassing a total of $130 million in just 12 months is quite a feat, especially when you consider the list of star studded celebs in his wake, with Jerry Bruckheimer, Steven Speilberg, Sir Elton John and Simon Cowell completing the top 5, but Tyler was very much sitting at the top of the tree.

After being born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Perry had a troubled child hood, and has previously talked about the way his father used to beat him, and multiple counts of molesting by ‘family friends’. Although a troubled time, this was very much the base for his early success and put Tyler on the path to writing. At 16, Tyler, then named after his father, Emmitt Perry, Jr, legally changed his name to Tyler Perry.

Once he reached his early 20’s Tyler found writing, and actually thought he could make a career from it. Apparently inspired by an episode of Oprah (not cliché at all!), Tyler started to write a series of letters reflecting on his past. These actually based his first venture into the arts, originally starting in theatre, directing and staring in his own plays. But now at 42, his career has been wide and varied, according to Forbes, last years income (chart based) was made as an actor, director, producer and writer. But what exactly, and where would we know him from?

Film wise he is probably best known for the 2006 release ‘Madea’s Family Reunion‘, and it’s follow up which was released earlier this year: ‘Madea’s Big Happy Family‘. He plays many roles in both films, including the lead (some gun toting grandma). These were not Tyler’s first films though, his first film release (and original in this trilogy) was ‘Diary of a Mad Black Woman‘. I can honestly say I have never heard of the films, let alone seen them. And unless you are based in the US, chances are, you won’t either. That didn’t stop them grossing nearly $500 million worldwide though.

Up until 2009, Tyler had never appeared in a film that was not his own. But after an apparent request by none other than world famous director J. J. Abrams, Perry made a cameo appearance in Star Trek as the Starfleet Academy commandant Admiral Barnett.

Film and Stage isn’t the only place where Tyler has plied his trade. He has also created two rather well know television series, the first, self titled “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” follows an African-American household in America over three generations which has been running for some 5 years. More recently in 2009, “Meet the Browns” was born, which has added even more to his pot of dollars.

It’s not all been cash and roses though. Perry has been slated for his work in some quarters, which some say ultimately focuses on negative racial stereotypes, with all films and series following a certain genre that modern America would hope not to promote.

Overall, Tyler Perry is one to watch. He will become more and more mainstream around the world as time goes on. Well known? Not to us… You could call us un-educated, and you may well be right, we just think we should have heard of someone so big, and obviously talented!

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