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30 Surprising Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Tyler Perry

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Tyler Perry, famous for his character of Madea, a tough elderly black woman, which he himself created and performs, has built a very big entertainment empire with successful films, plays and best-selling books. Here are some really interesting facts about the American actor, playwright, and comedian:

  1.  He was listed as the highest paid man in the entertainment field, by the Forbes magazine, with earnings of $130 million, in the year 2011.
  2.  His series "The Haves and the Have Nots" is said to have given the Oprah Winfrey Network, its highest ratings to date as of 2014, with the series being referred to as "one of OWN's biggest success stories."
  3.  One of his trademarks is the use of African American themes, usually set in Atlanta, Georgia or Louisiana. He is also known to often play a drag queen in his films or on stage.
  4.  In the year 2007, he was ranked at #7 on the list of "The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood," by the Entertainment Weekly.
  5.  Emmitt Perry Jr., was born on September 13, 1969, to Emmitt Perry Sr., and Willie Maxine Perry, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has three siblings.
  6.  His father was a carpenter, and he once said in an interview that his father's answer to everything was simply to "beat it out of you." It is reported that he once went as far as to attempt suicide, to escape his father's beatings.
  7.  He changed his first name from Emmitt to Tyler, at the age of 16, in an effort to distance himself from his father.
  8.  He started writing plays, at the age of 18, and has over eight plays that have grossed over US$75 million in tickets and DVD sales.
  9.  After watching the film "Precious," written by Geoffrey S. Fletcher, directed by Lee Daniels, he revealed for the first time that at the age of 10, he was molested by a friend's mother, but was also molested by three men before that.
  10.  He, later, learned that his own father had molested his friend. He was once took a DNA test that indicated Emmitt Sr. was not Perry's biological father.
  11.  While watching an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," he got to know that the act of writing can sometimes have a therapeutic effort, enabling the author to work out his or her own problems. This inspired him to start his career in writing.
  12.  Before becoming famous and making it big, he was reportedly working in the construction business, just like his character in the movie “The Family That Preys.”
  13.  He first started writing a series of letters to himself, which later became the basis for the musical "I Know I've Been Changed," his first major successful play, addressing issues such as child abuse and dysfunctional families.
  14.  Two years later, the musical was first performed at a community theater in Atlanta, financed by the 22-year-old Perry's $12,000 life savings.
  15.  He retooled the play for over six years and successfully restaged it in Atlanta first at the House of Blues, then at the Fox Theatre, in the year 1998, following which he developed a large and devoted following among the African-American audiences.
  16.  His films are co-produced and distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment, but under the corporate name Tyler Perry Films, which allows him to retain full copyright ownership.
  17.  His first movie "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," inspired by the play of the same name, was released in the year 2005, and scored a 16% approval rating in Rotten Tomatoes.
  18.  He made his directorial debut with the "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" movie's sequel titled "Madea's Family Reunion," a film adaptation of the stage production of the same name, which was released exactly after a year.
  19.  Following the first week record-breaking release of the first "Madea" film, Lions Gate Entertainment had Perry sign a seven-picture deal of the remaining Madea films.
  20.  The movie "Madea's Family Reunion" reportedly opened at number one at the box office, grossing $30.3 million in its opening weekend, and over $65 million in total.
  21.  In the year 2007, he wrote, directed, starred and produced "Why Did I Get Married?" loosely based on the play of the same name, which opened at number one at the box office, grossing $21.4 million that weekend.
  22.  His seventh film "Madea Goes to Jail," released on February 20, 2009, reportedly opened at number one at the box office, grossing over $41 million in this opening weekend, his largest opening to date.
  23.  His first film appearance outside of his own projects was for a small role as the Starfleet Academy commandant Admiral Barnett in "Star Trek," which he accepted at the request of director J. J. Abrams.
  24.  Four of his most popular Madea movies have been nominated for a Razzie award, with two movies – “A Madea Christmas,” and "Boo 2! A Madea Halloween" actually winning it.
  25.  In preparation for his titular role in the movie "Alex Cross," he reportedly trained extensively in krav maga, the martial arts form favored by the Israeli secret service. He claims it to be "the most ass-kicking workout" he'd ever experienced.
  26.  It is reported that it was after watching his performance as Alex Cross in the movie titled "Alex Cross," director David Fincher, being impressed, casted him as Tanner Bolt in the 2014 movie "Gone Girl."
  27.  During the filming of "Gone Girl," he started a game with co-star Ben Affleck, who constantly sang '80s songs in between takes. The game, which had Perry start a random song he could think of, and Affleck singing it along fully, is said to have lasted the entire duration of filming.
  28.  He claims that he never knew anything about David Fincher or the "Gone Girl" movie's source novel, and that he would not have accepted it, had he known already, He said his agent knew and didn't tell him until he signed the contract. He claims the reason to be that when things are magical and very special to people, there comes a lot of pressure with it.
  29.  He is said to have sponsored 65 children from a Philadelphia day camp to visit Walt Disney World on July 20, 2009, when he got to know that the Valley Swim Club in Huntingdon Valley had shunned them out.
  30.  His girlfriend Gelila Bekele gave birth to his son named Aman Tyler Perry on November 30, 2014. He reportedly lives and works in Southwest Atlanta, from where he operates the Tyler Perry film and TV studios. He is also known to own vacation properties in Wyoming and the Bahamas.
  31.  Tyler Perry Net Worth: $600 Million

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