The list of multi-talented Americans will not be complete without the name of Tyler Perry on such a list. For film and entertainment lovers as a whole, the name does ring a bell – if not several bells.
Tyler Perry Bio/Early Life
Tyler Perry is an American actor, comedian, filmmaker, author, composer, and composer specializing in the gospel genre. Born on September 13, 1969, Emmitt Perry Jr. is a local child, with two older sisters and a younger brother. His mother was a parishioner who usually took Perry with her once a week and his father was a carpenter who abused Perry, which led him to suffer from depression when he was a teenager.
According to Tyler, he had to endure years of abuse from his father whose answer to everything was to “beat it out of you”. He even tried to commit suicide at one point in order to escape his difficult situation. At the age of 16, he changed his first name to Tyler to separate himself from his father.
Perry dropped out of high school at the time but eventually obtained a General Equivalency Diploma (GED). In the hope of finding his professional path, Perry did several unsatisfactory jobs before discovering his true passion.
His rise to star status began in 1991 when he saw an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) dealing with the therapeutic nature of writing. This inspired him to start writing and he worked through his bad experiences by writing letters to himself.
Later, he put his letters in a play, I Know I’ve Changed, – a play about domestic violence. Unfortunately, after renting a theatre in Atlanta to stage the play, he didn’t manage to attract as many spectators as he wanted. In 1998, he had a second chance to put his playback on the stage and this time the play was complete and attracted the attention of investors.
The play was first presented at the House of Blues in Atlanta, Georgia in the summer of 1998 and sold eight times in a row. Two weeks later, the Show was moved to the Fox Theater, in the same city where it continued to sell – this time to a sold-out audience – a much larger arena with about 4,000 seats.
Interestingly, this was not the end of the show’s success as the play continued at several million gross dollars. It has also put the world of African-American theatre in a more favorable light for theatre audiences and critics. What was once called “Chitlin Circuit”, a rather derogatory term, began to be called “urban theatre”, thanks to Tyler Perry and his play.
The success of I Know I’ve Changed has opened the doors to a whole new world for Perry. Bishop T. D. Jakes came to one of the shows in Dallas and then invited Perry to get involved in the play Woman, Thou Art Loosed, a project Jakes had been working on and looking for someone to help him. Perry agreed to do so on the condition that he would be allowed to rewrite the play, produce it and direct it. Bishop Jakes gave him the green light. When the show finally opened in 1999, it was a huge success. He made over $5 million in just five months.
With 17 feature films, 20 plays, seven television shows, a New York Times bestseller to his credit, Tyler has built an empire that has attracted audiences and built communities from Tyler Perry Studios’ base in Atlanta, Georgia.
Is Tyler Perry Gay?
Perry’s sexual orientation has been the subject of debate for a very long time, although Perry did not publicly deny the rumors, whether he is homosexual or not, the rumors persisted and many people shared what they consider to be shreds of evidence to prove his disagreement.
A report suggests that “his manners and aura are such that everyone less than a kilometer from his adornment seems to say, “He’s a gay man! So, assuming the millions gaydar is on target as usual, why doesn’t the guy get out already?”
Some theoretical hypotheses also suggest that his history of hiring muscular men for his plays and films is a sure sign of his sexuality, the fact that he dresses as a woman, for entertainment, could be another indication of his sexual orientation. Some time ago, a man named Walter Lee Hampton II posted a video on YouTube saying that Perry was a “gay black man” who has since abandoned the gay community.
He also detailed his complex and close relationship with Tyler, who, in his opinion, is afraid that his popular Madea performances will not continue to be financially and critically successful if he emerges from them.
“No one can know I’m gay,” Tyler would have told Walter. “If people find out I’m gay, I’ll lose the support of black church members.”
He also says that Tyler Perry stole Madea’s idea from a drag queen show. But after the video was released, he was reportedly attacked by a group of men and received 120 stitches after being wounded in the face.
In 2016, Tyler Perry joined the Hollywood choir to urge Governor Nathan Deal to reject a bill that would discriminate against the LGBT community.
“At Tyler Perry Studios, we believe in inclusion and equality for all,” said a spokesperson for his studios. “We do not tolerate bigotry, division, and discrimination,” he added.
Until Tyler Perry expresses his sexual orientation, it is not yet clear whether he is gay or not, so for now, we just have to cross our fingers until he decides to come out of the closet and open his sexual preference.
Is Tyler Perry Married? Wife/Son
One of the theoretical assumptions used to justify people’s claim that Perry is homosexual is the fact that he is a very successful man in his forties and that he is still single and childless.
But this is not quite true because although Perry is not married, he has been in a long-standing relationship with the Gelila Bekele model. The couple has been together since 2009.
In 2014, it was announced that Perry and Bekele were expecting their first child together. The child turned out to be a son (Aman) born on November 30, 2014.
Perry and Bekele usually keep their son out of public view. Explaining the reason for their decision on the Rickey Smiley Morning Show, Perry said that since his son is not himself famous, he doesn’t think he should share pictures of himself on social media.
He also said that his son will have to work for his money when he is older.
Tyler Perry’s Houses
Perry is well known among gossip about celebrity properties for his unwavering penchant for extraordinarily large homes. He owns a 25,545 square foot mansion in Los Angeles that he custom built on 22.5 acres in the Beverly Ridge Estates enclave in Beverly Hills, a chic and protected neighborhood. In his Atlanta base, home to Tyler Perry Studios, he owns “Avec Chateau”, a mansion of less than 17,000 square feet in Fairburn, GA, which he also custom built on 11.4 acres and purchased in the spring of 2001 for $62,661.
In 2005, he bought the baronial spread for $9 million, put it up for sale in the summer of 2015 at $25 million and sold it almost exactly one year later for $17.5 million. He sold one of his mega-houses in the Atlanta area in 2016, a sumptuous and visibly colossal 34,688 square feet of extravagance about 10 miles north of downtown Atlanta on 17 acres along the Chattahoochee River.
He acquired another multi-million dollar intensive maintenance mansion for $14.5 million in 2017. The glass architectural mansion, located between Beverly Hills and Studio City, covers 17,245 square feet and includes 7 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. The flamboyant residence, which probably emanates more than the subtle atmosphere of a high-end suburban office building, long belonged to billionaire Alfred E. Mann, an aerospace entrepreneur, and philanthropist who died at the age of 90 in early 2016.
Tyler Perry’s Net Worth
In 2011, Perry was the highest paid man in the entertainment business; he earned $130 million between May 2010 and 2011. With new shows lined up, as well as older successful shows, his net worth is currently estimated at $600 million and his salary at $80 million.
Tyler Perry is not the tallest in Hollywood, but he is certainly one of those considered tall in the industry – he is about 1.90 m or 193.7 cm.