Tyler Perry, who made a name for himself beginning as a struggling playwright and eventually succeeding with a multimillion-dollar film studio, was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce bestowed the honor, its 2,675th star, in a ceremony attended by the director, along with friends Idris Elba, who starred in Perry’s 2007 movie “Daddy’s Little Girls,” and Kerry Washington who co-starred in his 2010 film “For Colored Girls.”
Perry, 50, dedicated the honor to the “underdogs” “whose dreams may be on life support.”
“I want you to walk past this star in particular and know that I’ve been there,” said Perry. “I’ve been struggling, I’ve been out, broke, homeless. I’ve been through all of those things, but there was a perseverance, a tremendous faith in God, and this hope that allowed me to keep going.
“This one in particular is for the underdogs, this one in particular is for the ones who want to do it their way,” he continued. “This one in particular is for those who want to bring as many people through the door with them as they can.”
Perry wrote his first play “I Know I’ve Been Changed” in 1992 and went on to pen 13 more plays over the next 13 years. His most well-known character, the loquacious, grandmotherly Madea, made her first appearance in “I Can Do Bad All By Myself.”
Born in New Orleans, and raised in an abusive home, Perry began his career in show business when he moved to Atlanta to stage his first production “I Know I’ve Been Changed” in a community theater in 1992, financed by his life savings of $12,000. He struggled to restage it several times over the course of years until he developed a following among largely African American, churchgoing audiences. By 2005, he was selling more than $100 million in tickets.
He went on to produce a series of films which either focused on his most well-known character, the loquacious, grandmotherly Madea, or had her in a supporting role including “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “I Can Do Bad All By Myself,” “Madea’s Family Reunion,” “Madea’s Family Reunion” among others, which did not include the character but focused on emotional drama like “Why Did I Get Married” and Why Did I Get Married, Too,” and “For Colored Girls.”
He also was behind several successful TV programs produced by his Atlanta-based Tyler Perry Studios including “Meet the Browns,” “House of Payne,” and “The Haves and the Have Nots.”
“Tyler Perry is a force in the entertainment world. Coming from a world of poverty and pushing his way to the top– his creative work has been an inspiration for many people. We are proud to honor him for his work and perseverance and welcome our newest Walk of Famer!” said Ana Martinez, Producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in a statement from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
Ok, let me explain this photo. So I got a star today on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Thank you chamber!! I’m so grateful, but onto this photo. @only1crystalfox spoke and moved me. @kerrywashington spoke, and we both were in tears. Then @idriselba came up to speak, and they all were so powerful. I was so moved. To look out and see all the cast from all the shows that I have created made my heart so full. To be able to give opportunities to so many was just so humbling to me. Anyway, the photogs were asking for photos so at that moment the BEAUTIFUL KERRY WASHINGTON was leaving, and they all started snapping pictures of her!! Look at my face. We had such a good laugh about this. Thank you everyone for your support and love all these years. My Mamma would be so proud.
Perry has two new shows set to premiere on BET Oct. 23 called “The Oval” and “Sistas”.
Congrats to Tyler Perry on your well-deserved star.