Guest Author - Edie Dykeman
Tyler Perry has become known as one of the busiest and most successful writer-producer-actors in the entertainment business. Also a playwright and screenwriter, this busy Christian has never married. Born Emmitt R. Perry, Jr. on September 14, 1969 in New Orleans, Louisiana, he now calls Atlanta, Georgia his home.
Perry is perhaps best known for his character, Madea, a large, overbearing African-American woman who provides comic relief and the loud voice of reason in a number of Perry’s works.
Several of the ten plays that Perry wrote were made into films. Because the plays contained more musical numbers than the movies, they were often considered musicals. Most of the plays are available on DVD, as are his movies.
His first movie was Diary of a Mad Black Woman which became an unexpected hit after its release February 2006. His film version of Madea’s Family Reunion later opened at number one. Most of his subsequent movies have opened at number one, although Meet the Browns opened at number two. The unexpected success of his movies has led some to speculate that there has been a lack of acceptable movies geared toward middle-class African-Americans.
Perry opened the first African-American owned studio in the United States in 2008. The Tyler Perry Studios are located in Atlanta, Georgia. Occupying 200,000 square feet, they consist of sets and office space. He also created the 34th Street Films so that he could guide other filmmakers.
His television production, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne first aired in 2007, and follows a three-generational African-American family as they struggle with the generation gap. After a brief 10-show run, Perry signed a lucrative 100-episode deal with TBS. The show was so popular, it was quickly placed in syndication although new episodes were still being produced. The House of Payne currently airs on The CW.
A new sitcom written, directed, and produced by Perry, Meet the Browns, premiered January 7, 2009 on TBS. He is currently considering another series, “Floyd’s Family.” He is a NY Times best selling author and Quill Award winner for his first novel, Don’t Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea’s Uninhibited Commentaries on Love and Life, which hit bookstores in April, 2006.
Tyler Perry, man of many titles, has obtained success at a very young age. Sometimes called The King of Comedy, the sky is the limit for this highly creative and entertaining entrepeneur.