Tyler Perry Ouiz
One day while he was watching The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1992, Perry took the advice that it can be cathartic to put feelings down on paper, which inspired him to write letters of his painful childhood. These letters eventually became his plays. 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 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 moved to Atlanta in 1992 and worked in a restaurant and as a used car salesman. He managed to save up $12,000 to stage his first play. It was not a success and over the next six years, he struggled living in Atlanta but persevered until the play finally had a successful run in 1998, first at the House of Blues and later at the Fox Theatre. His 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. 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/DVDs Why Did I Get Married? and Meet the Browns. Why Did I Get Married featured R&B singer Kelly Price (the DVD version featured Cheryl Pepsii Riley) and Tony Grant. Meet the Browns features Terrell Phillips, Terrell Carter, and David and Tamela Mann (Perry did not appear in either production). In 2005, Perry returned to the stage with another successful hit, Madea Goes to Jail. Another play, What's Done in the Dark, which Perry wrote and directed but does not appear in, went on tour from September 2006 through May 2007, but returned for another run in September 2007. The video was filmed in Charlotte, NC and was released February 12, 2008. Perry's most recent stage production is The Marriage Counselor which premiered in January 2008. This production features Tony Grant, Palmer Williams and Tamar Davis.
Tyler was born Emmitt R. Perry, Jr. in New Orleans, one of four children. Perry changed his first name to Tyler because of his troubled relationship with his father. His father, Emmitt, Sr., was a carpenter and construction worker, and his mother, Maxine, was a pre-school teacher and worked at the New Orleans Jewish Community Center for most of her life. His childhood in New Orleans was marked by poverty and physical abuse from his father. Perry dropped out of school when he was 16, but later went back to school to obtain his GED. Perry is a Christian. Rumors that Perry is gay linger, but he continues to deny it by saying "If you can't separate the character from the man I am that's your problem." Perry was named in connection with an investigation into steroid abuse in 2007. Although Perry's publicist declined to comment it is noted that Perry has battled asthma all his life and uses steroids as a means of treatment.
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