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The Tyler Effect: 10 Actors Who Made Their Debut In Madea Films

‘Madea’s Farewell Play’ and ‘The Oval’ premiere on Feb. 16.

Tyler Perry’s meteoric rise from struggling homeless creative to media mogul and major Hollywood mover and shaker is amazing. His work ethic is second to none and it shows. A filmmaker since 2006, he has written, produced and/or directed 22 movies and 15 television shows. That’s not including his stage plays which he has created since the 1990s. In other words, the brother has been working, working. Perry calls his own shots at his state-of-the-art facility Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. The massive studio and production space which opened in 2019 contains more than 330 acres of land. Tyler Perry is doing it like it’s never been done before.
A major key to Perry's success is his ability to identify up and coming stars. He has a great eye for talent. He allows the greatness of the actors he works with to be on center stage. He doesn’t hold them back, but lets them fly. When Tyler Perry gives you his endorsement, you are on your way.
Some of Hollywood's best and brightest talent received their start in the Madea franchise. In advance of the season 2 premiere of Tyler Perry’s The Oval and the premiere of Madea’s Farewell Play, we at BET.com have compiled a list of 10 actors who made their debuts in Madea films.

Tune in to Madea’s Farewell Play on Tuesday, February 16th at 8pm PT/ET followed by the season 2 premiere of Tyler Perry’s The Oval at 10:30pm PT/ET, only on BET.

  1. Tyler Perry, A Diary Of a Mad Black Woman (2005)

    In the ultimate boss move, Tyler Perry made his big-screen debut in the film that he wrote and produced, Diary of Mad Black Woman. Perry brought Madea from the Black church scene to theaters nationwide and the results are undeniable. On its opening weekend, Diary of a Mad Black Woman landed at the number 1 spot at the box office, taking in $21.9 million. The film grossed an estimated $50.6 million in the United States and Canada, with an additional $19,000 internationally, for an estimated worldwide total of $50.7 million, grossing more than $50 million at the box office. Madea came to slay!

    Proving his diversity, he appeared in Star Trek (2009), Alex Cross (2012), Gone Girl (2014), Baxter Stockman in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016), and Colin Powell in Vice (2018). Without question, we can count on T.P. to keep that content coming.

  2. Tamela Mann, Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005)

    Tamela Mann, plays the role of Madea's daughter, who we affectionately know as “Cora Simmons”. Mann began her rise to fame as a member of the legendary gospel group, Kirk Franklin and The Family. Her vocal prowess can be heard in many of the group’s signature songs as a soloist. She was discovered by Perry in 1999 and launched her new career as an actress in his plays. Making her film debut in Diary of a Mad Black Woman, she brought Cora to the big-screen. Since then, she has starred in many more Tyler Perry films and stage productions, becoming a fan favorite. She has also released several successful gospel albums and starred in the hit sitcom Meet The Browns from 2009-2011.

  3. Gary Anthony Sturgis, Diary of a Mad Black Woman

    Gary Anthony Sturgis has paid his dues in the entertainment business. Early in his acting career, Sturgis even had roles in the cult television series America's Most Wanted. With his signature raspy, deep tone he provided the voice of Ebon in the animated series, Static Shock. He was the voice of the Monday night (and later Tuesday night) lineup of the UPN network, promoting such sitcoms as The Parkers, Moesha, Half & Half, Girlfriends, and The Hughleys. After much voiceover work and many small roles, Sturgis got his big shot in Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Working closely with Perry, in October 2008, Sturgis signed on as a staff writer for Tyler Perry Studios on the series Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Meet the Browns, marking his first professional writing job for television.

  4. David Mann, Meet The Browns

    When you see those wild, way too bright (and tight) outfits worn with white dress shoes, you know it has to be none other than Mr. Brown. David Maan has made Mr. Brown one of the most hilarious and recognizable characters in modern television and film. Like his wife for more than 30 years, Tamela Mann, David Mann began his career as lead vocalist in the popular gospel group, Kirk Franklin and The Family. He then transitioned to comedy in Tyler Perry’s stage productions and he made his film debut in 2008’s Meet The Browns. In the Tyler Perry universe, Mr. Brown is Cora’s father. Mann has starred along with his wife in Meet the Browns and has appeared in several Tyler Perry plays, television shows, and films, bringing the funny every time.

  5. Mary J. Blige, I Can Do Bad All By Myself (2009)

  6. There is only one Queen of Hip Hop Soul and it’s none other than, Mary J. Blige. She is a generational talent and her music is the soundtrack of anyone who has taken a ride on the rollercoaster of love. For her musical efforts, the iconic singer has garnered nine Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards, and a bevy of other accolades. When she finally wanted to act, she debuted in I Can Do Bad All By Myself, which sounds like the title of a signature Mary J. song. In the film, Mary plays Tanya, the bartender who’s trying to give April (Taraji P. Henson) wise advice. Her star continued to shine as an actress when she received a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal as Florence Jackson in 2017’s Mudbound.

  7. Teyana Taylor, Madea’s Big Happy Family

    Teyana Taylor does it all. The petite powerhouse can sing, model, design clothes, dance, act, and if she really wanted to, she could be your personal trainer. When it comes to talent in the entertainment realm, the mom of two has many gifts. She burst on the scene as a teenager on MTV's My Super Sweet 16 and with her catchy single “Google Me '', and was signed to The Neptunes Star Trak label. She starred in the VH1 reality television show Teyana and Iman, alongside her husband, NBA player Iman Shumpert. But her first appearance on film was in Madea’s Big Happy Family, with a hilarious scene opposite Shad “Bow Wow” Moss (We’ll never hear the name Byron the same again.) Whatever Teyana Taylor does, she kills it!

  8. Judge Greg Mathis, Madea Goes To Jail, 2009

    Here comes the judge! When it comes to laying down the law on T.V., nobody does it quite like Judge Greg Mathis. For 21 years and counting, his popular show Judge Mathis has taped more than 3,000 episodes of small-claims court craziness. So when the time came for someone to sentence Madea to hard time behind bars in Madea Goes To Jail, Judge Mathis was rightfully the man for the job. Judge Mathis laid down the law on Madea, giving her five years for all of her reckless behavior. Judge Mathis brought his courtroom candor to the big screen in a comical scene in his film debut.

  9. Patrice Lovely, A Madea Christmas (2011)

    Patrice Lovely has been a working actress since 1997. She even joined the UniverSoul Circus as a ringmaster playing Ms. Mabelle. After appearing in several direct-to-video films, her big break finally came in 2011 when she was cast in A Madea Christmas, playing the loveable Miss Hattie Mae Love. Lovely has reprised her role as Miss Hattie Mae Love in Boo! A Madea Halloween, Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, and A Madea Family Funeral.

  10. Yousef Erakat, Boo! A Madea Halooween, (2016)

    Social media influencer, Yousef Erakat aka FouseyTube has gained a huge following with more than 3 million followers on Instagram and nearly 11 million YouTube subscribers. He’s known for some of the wildest pranks, comedy sketches, and parodies on the Internet. But it wasn’t until Tyler Perry nabbed for Boo! A Madea Halloween that he made his big-screen debut. In the comedy meets horror flick, Erakat plays Johnathan who’s trying to have some Halloween fun with his fraternity brothers. But when Madea gets involved, all hell breaks loose. His performance was so good that he returned for the sequel, Boo 2! A Madea Halloween.

  11. Diamond White, Boo! A Madea Halloween, 2016

    Diamond White placed fifth on The X Factor in 2012, showcasing her top-notch vocal ability. She caught Tyley Perry’s attention and he tapped her for the singer's big-screen debut in Boo! A Madea Halloween in 2016. She came back around for the sequel, Boo 2! A Madea Halloween. In 2020, she joined the cast of the CBS soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful playing Paris Buckingham, sister of Zoe Buckingham (Kiara Barnes).

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