Tyler Perry


The New Orleans native (born Emmitt Perry, Jr.) began his career in the Atlanta chitlin circuit writing, directing, and starring in plays centered around the fictional gun-wielding, good-hearted matriarch Mabel “Madea” Simmons. In 2005, Perry went on to write, produce and star in his first film, Diary of a Mad Black Woman (also featuring Madea) and won BET Comedy Awards for outstanding writing and acting. He has since written, directed, starred in and/or produced dozens of projects, ranging from the TV series Tyler Perry’s House of Payne to a 2010 film adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s classic play For Colored Girls. In 2008 he opened Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, the first major television and movie studio owned by an African-American producer.

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