Perry was one of four children. His childhood in New Orleans
was marked by poverty and physical abuse.
Tyler Perry is currently single, but has been linked to model and talk show host Tyra Banks.
Perry's first foray into writing was in 1992, when he began writing a journal, in part to cope with the repercussions of abuse. He was inspired to begin a journal after watching The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Tyler Perry developed different characters to voice different ideas in the journal. This work eventually became the musical I Know I've Been Changed, about adult survivors of child abuse.
Perry saved $12,000, moved to Atlanta in 1992, and tried to stage the play. It was not a success. Over the next six years, Perry struggled in Atlanta - at times he was homeless - but persevered until the play finally had a successful run in 1998, first at the House of Blues and later at the Fox Theater.
Tyler Perry's following play, a staging of Bishop T.D. Jakes book Woman Thou Art Loosed, was an immediate hit, grossing over $5 million in five months.  A film version was later created starring Kimberly Elise and Loretta Devine in 2004.
Perry, whose work is aimed at the African-American audience, ultimately created a successful touring theater company. Recordings of some of the plays were subsequently sold on video and DVD. As of March 2005, the plays had grossed over $75 million in ticket sales and DVD sales. Perry's success is notable as his theater company did not have substantial publicity or corporate backing, and most of his patrons were from the underserved urban theater audience.
Perry stated in a January 2004 interview in Ebony magazine that his theater productions were designed to be a bridge between the traditional urban theater circuit - pejoratively referred to as the "chitlin' circuit" - and a more traditional theater format. 
Perry's other highly successful plays include Diary of a Mad Black Woman, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, Madea's Family Reunion and Madea's Class Reunion. He also wrote and created the hit plays Why Did I Get Married featuring R&B singer Kelly Price and Meet the Browns (Perry did not appear in either production). In 2005, Perry returned to the stage with another successful hit, Madea Goes to Jail.
Tyler Perry's first movie, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, produced on a budget of under $5 million, became an unexpected hit, prompting widespread discussion among industry watchers about whether middle-class African Americans were simply not being addressed by mainstream Hollywood movies.
On opening weekend, February 24, 2006 Perry's film version of Madea's Family Reunion opened at number one with $30 million, more than triple the amount it cost to make.
Tyler Perry's next project for Lionsgate Entertainment, Daddy's Little Girl, starring Gabrielle Union, is currently in production.
Perry's first novel, Don't Make a Black Woman Take Her Earrings Off: Madea's Commentaries on Love and Life, hit bookstores on April 11, 2006. The book is written from Madea's point of view, and offers commentary about love, relationships, and family. In its first five days in stores, the book sold more than 25,000 copies to send it up The Book Standard's Nielsen BookScan charts. 
Currently, Tyler Perry has created a new series entitled, Tyler Perry's House of Payne, which in now being shown in first-run syndication.
Several recurring narrative themes surface in Perry's work. In nearly all of his plays and films, the male antagonist is always a wealthy man, while the lead male hero is usually a man of modest means. In several of the works, the female protagonist is torn between the "good guy" and the "bad guy".
The recurring character of Mabel "Madea" Simmons, referred to as "Madea", surfaces in many of Perry's work. Tyler Perry portrays Madea in his plays and films. Madea is based on an aunt of Perry's who lives in Houston. In Madea's appearances, she dispenses wisdom in a no-nonsense manner, and is usually involved in physical comedy and/or a sight gag. The nickname "Madea" comes from a Southern African American contraction of the words "mother dear", which is commonly used as a term of affection.
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