“Your beginning never dictates your destination.” – Tyler Perry
If there’s one thing life lesson to learn, it’s to believe in your dreams and keep pushing even when life deals you many many blows.
From poverty, abusive childhood homelessness, blunt dismissals from Hollywood figureheads to turning his story around and boasting of a staggering 1 billion USD net worth at as 2022 as estimated by Forbes, media mogul, Tyler Perry is no doubt one of Hollywood’s most powerful figures calling the shots with refreshingly bold ideas and an undaunted thirst for change.
With an impressive 22 feature films including #WhyDidIGetMarried DiaryOfAMadBlackWoman #MadeasFamilyReunion NobodysFool #AFamilyThatPreys under his belt and at least two dozen stage plays, a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star, amongst other coveted awards and accolades, the Academy Award-winning filmmaker, is inspiration personified.
Today the 52-year-old, best known for his iconic character, Madea, is mega-successful with homes spread across Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, also boasting of two planes as well as a 330-acre studio, but, the back story wasn’t as glossy.
After dropping out of high school, Perry found his love for writing and delved into writing scripts while selling cars and serving as a bill collector. Eventually, he was able to amass $12,000, which he used to rent space at a community theater in Atlanta to produce his work but overnight success wasn’t in the equation as things got really hard – that he could generate income let alone pay his rent so for three months, he lived out of his car on and off In the streets of Atlanta, Georgia while continuing production. Thankfully with time, he began getting notice. Although between 1992 – 1998 he kept on pushing, doing one play per year which ended up failing, he kept at it and in the seventh year, just as he was about to hand in the towel, he sat down with the audience members and got feedback on how his plays impacted their lives and that was it!
In 2005 he made his big-screen debut with the American romantic comedy-drama film ‘Diary of a Mad Black Woman’ – a major success at the box office, and from there, things eventually began looking up, it grossed a wowing US$50.6 million on a US$5.5 million budget. The following year, he released ‘Madea’s Family Reunion,’ a sequel to the ‘Diary of a Mad Black Woman’ which marked his directorial debut- this was a massive commercial success. Since then, there’s been no stopping Tyler Perry!