With a flourishing career as an actor, producer, director, and screenwriter, specializing in the gospel genre, Tyler Perry completes the list of the richest actors in the world.
He is well known for creating and portraying a tough old black woman known as Madea. He has also written and produced many plays, TV series as well as films. Perry’s most successful TV series include “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne”, “The Haves and the Have Nots”, and films such as “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” and “Daddy’s Girls”.
What is Tyler Perry’s net worth?
Tyler Perry is a famous American director, actor, producer, and playwright with a net worth of $800 million at the time this article is written. There is no doubt that Tyler Perry is one of the richest directors in the entertainment industry.
The 53-year-old comedian owns his entire oeuvre, including more than 1,200 television episodes, 22 feature films, and at least two dozen plays, as well as a 330-acre studio lot on the outskirts of South Atlanta. He used that control to leverage a deal with ViacomCBS, which pays him $150 million a year for new content and gives him a stake in BET+, the streaming service that debuted in September 2019.
Childhood and teenage
He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 13, 1969. He grew up in a single-parent family with his mother, who worked hard to raise him.
With natural charisma, Perry grew up making his mother laugh by impersonating people. He was dealing with more than poverty: He describes an upbringing by an abusive man, who he later learned was not his father.
After dropping out of high school, he acquired knowledge in any way he could. When he was 20, he worked at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans at the annual conference of the National Association of Television Executives. Young Perry used badges left behind in empty rooms to sneak into closed gatherings.
Perry was inspired to describe the stress he felt after watching an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s talk show and spent his 20s touring small theaters across the country performing the plays he wrote and produced.
He started writing screenplays while selling cars and collecting bills. He eventually raised $12,000, which he used to rent space at a community theater in Atlanta to produce a play he had written in his spare time.
The musical “I know I’ve changed” was a story of those who suffered abuse when they were children. It was not an overnight success. At one point he wasn’t making enough money to afford his rent and for three months he lived in his car, starting and stopping as he tweaked the production, troubleshooting until it started to gain visibility. He designed the set, made the programs, and hung the lights; he even sold snacks during the break.
Meeting Oprah Winfrey
Perry toured relentlessly, slowly drawing strong support among black Americans, especially the church crowd—older women, like his mother, that had their own problems. He wanted to give them a voice and, even better, a laugh. His iconic character, Madea, a straight-talking grandmother with a bad wig, a big stomach, and even bigger breasts, delivered her moralism with brutally honest humor, becoming an unforgettable show on the so-called “Chitlin Circuit” a loosely defined network of small theaters in black communities nationwide.
Oprah invited Perry on her talk show in 2001. She became a friend and, perhaps most importantly, a supporter. Even before making his first movie or TV show, Tyler Perry collected more than $100 million in theater ticket sales, moved $20 million worth of merchandise, and raised another $30 million to sell videos of the performances.
The debut was at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, a 1,200-seat Italianate building that opened in the 1920s at the dawn of Los Angeles’ rise as the entertainment capital. In 2001, Perry booked a three-night run of “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” an event designed to bring out the kingpins — producers, executives, lawyers — who could help make him a star. The show sold out, but the seats weren’t filled with power brokers, just locals and some assistants sent to see what all the fuss was about.
So, he retired to Atlanta, where he continued to work on his plays and a film script. But he couldn’t stop thinking about the TV. He rented a warehouse behind a strip club in south Atlanta and turned it into a sound stage, investing in professional equipment and began working on his dream. He focused on scenes of a multigenerational black family living together in Atlanta, the origins of his first sitcom.
He returned to Hollywood, this time armed with 10 full episodes of television movies, paid for and ready to air. The CW bought it and aired it as “House of Payne”, which achieved ratings above expectations.
Executives at the much larger TBS network took notes. Before Perry had filmed another scene, they secured a guarantee that TBS would air at least 90 new episodes of his show, which he would directly own. The network offered $200 million to get him away from The CW. Perry took home a whopping sum of money: about $138 million.
While most of Hollywood dismissed the film’s success as a fluke, Perry and Lionsgate began producing Madea films – 11 of them in 14 years, all made on fast production schedules and shoestring budgets. By the time Perry decided to retire the franchise in 2019, it had grossed more than $670 million at the box office and collected about $290 million in taxes and profits.
Forbes estimates that Perry has earned more than $1.4 billion in taxed revenue since 2005, which he has used to buy homes in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as well as two airplanes. Quite a lifestyle for a homeless playwright raised in poverty in New Orleans.
Perry is not married but in a serious relationship with his longtime girlfriend Gelila Bekele. The couple started dating in 2009. His girlfriend Gelila is an Ethiopian model, social worker, humanitarian, and documentarian. On November 30, 2014, Tyler and his partner welcomed their only son, Aman Tyler Perry.