The writer, director, actor and studio owner has long been a chameleon on screen, shapeshifting into some of his iconic characters. He rode to fame for his transformation and portrayal of Madea in the Diary of a Mad Black Woman franchise.
In actuality, the 51-year-old is not only a giant of the industry but measures six feet and five inches tall. The star has also recently put a renewed emphasis on his body, sharing a sneak peek at his fitness journey.
“This is what a midlife crisis looks like,” he wrote in the caption of a December 2020 Instagram post. “I’m 51, single and wondering what the next chapter in my life will look like. Whatever it looks like, I’m going to walk with God, be the best father and man I can be, hold my head up high, and try to look my best doing it!!”
Perry had not publicly announced his split from Gelila Bekele before this post. The former couple share six-year-old son Aman Tyler Perry.
Fitting for the humanitarian, he ended his post “In a world with so much sadness, please try and stay in the good!” before wishing his followers a Merry Christmas.
Here’s what you need to know:
Perry Will Receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2021 Oscars
In January, Perry was announced as the recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. The statuette goes to an “individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”
According to the Academy of Motion Pictures, the Tyler Perry Studios owner was announced as the honoree for his commitment to “addressing economic distress caused by the pandemic, racial reckoning and homelessness in his community.”
David Rubin, the president of the Academy of Motion Pictures, said, “Tyler’s cultural influence extends far beyond his work as a filmmaker. He has quietly and steadily focused on humanitarian and social justice causes from the beginning of his career, caring for people who are most often ignored.”
This year also breaks from tradition, with the Motion Picture & Television Fund joining Perry as an honoree. As Rubin explained, “There has been such widespread generosity in our industry that limiting the Hersholt Humanitarian Award to one recipient, this year in particular, was impossible. So, we are breaking with tradition and giving two awards to honor that spirit.”
Perry Credits His Mother for His Philanthropic Spirit
Perry is being honored for his humanitarian work, but he credits his philanthropic spirit to his mother.
“That’s the DNA of my mother. My mother was just such a kind woman,” Perry told Entertainment Tonight. “I’m thinking of her because I know that she would be smiling from heaven. So that’s definitely that part of my DNA.”
“I realize that people aren’t out there struggling because they want to. There are people that just need a hand up and that little bit of motivation can take them a long way,” he continued. “I’ll never forget being in the grocery store, in Winn-Dixie in Atlanta, trying to pay for some food and couldn’t pay for it. I was at Kroger. I couldn’t pay for it. There was a woman behind me who gave me the money to get the food that I needed. Never knew her again. But that little act of kindness made me feel like I could go on, so that’s what those moments are about for me. Just making people feel like they can go on.”
That work can certainly be seen this year, as the media mogul has rapidly adapted protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic and worked to provide vaccinations to his employees and their families. According to Entertainment Tonight, he coordinated with Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, covering “logistical costs” to vaccinate more than 250 employees.
Deadline is reporting that with so many employees vaccinated, the studio no longer has to film in a quarantine bubble. Though, “strict Covid protocols” will remain.
He also formed The Perry Foundation in 2006, focusing on education, health, agriculture, human rights, technology, global sustainable economic development and arts and culture.