Tyler Perry is a renowned American actor, playwright, entrepreneur, and film producer. Widely known for his portrayal of the elderly woman Mabel “Madea” Simons in the franchise of the same name, he is one of the most successful directors/actors in the film industry these days.

As of 2024, Tyler Perry’s net worth is estimated at over $1.4 billion.

Throughout his rich career, Tyler Perry has produced and directed over 20 stage productions, 30 movies, and several television shows.

What’s most impressive about the director is that he built this fortune all on his own, starting with a play he wrote in 1990 titled I Know I’ve Been Changed.

Keep reading to find the details of Tyler Perry’s net worth.

How Much is Tyler Perry Worth in 2024?

  • Tyler Perry is a highly successful American actor, playwright, entrepreneur, and film producer with a net worth exceeding $1.4 billion as of 2024.
  • He began his career with a play titled “I Know I’ve Been Changed” while living in his car, eventually building a multimedia empire.
  • Perry has directed over 30 movies, produced 20 stage productions, and created several TV shows, with notable earnings from the Madea franchise.
  • He strategically partnered with Lionsgate and owns Tyler Perry Studios, a significant asset in the film industry.
  • Perry’s personal life includes a son with former partner Gelila Bekele and a challenging childhood marked by abuse.
  • His philanthropic efforts include significant donations through the Tyler Perry Foundation, especially during crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.

5 Quick Facts About Tyler Perry

  1. Perry’s first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” was funded while he was living out of his car.
  2. The Madea franchise has grossed over $290 million.
  3. Tyler Perry Studios is located on a former military base in Atlanta, Georgia.
  4. In 2011, Perry was the highest-paid man in entertainment, earning $130 million.
  5. Perry has donated millions to various causes, including $1 million to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Tyler Perry’s Net Worth Breakdown:

Tyler Perry is a major name in the entertainment industry. He has earned a fortune through his directing and acting roles, not to mention the profits he’s made through Tyler Perry Studios.

Perry’s talent has allowed him to make some of the most profitable contracts in his career. This adds millions to Tyler Perry’s net worth every year, which has made his fortune skyrocket to at least $1.4 billion today.

Based on the data we accumulated and analyzed for you, we’ve made a breakdown of the director’s biggest assets and earnings. You can see the details below:

Asset or Income Source Contribution to Net Worth
Atlanta Community Theater rent -$12,000
Madea franchise earnings Share of $290 million
ViacomCBS deal, 2019 – present $150 million per year
BET+ stake $60 million
TBS contract $300 million
Movie library earnings Share of $320 million
Earnings 2010-11 $130 million
Real estate $20+ million
Private jet $125 million
Total Net Worth $1.4 billion

Tyler Perry Net Worth: Early Life and Education

Tyler Perry was born Emmitt Perry Jr., the son of Willie Maxine Perry and Emmitt Perry Sr. He was born on September 13, 1969, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as one of four siblings.

When asked about his childhood, Tyler Perry once said that it was a “living hell.” As a child, he suffered physical abuse at the hands of his father, a carpenter, and never really felt safe.

He also suffered severe sexual abuse on multiple occasions, a story he finally found the courage to share after seeing the film Precious. Later on, a DNA test would show that Emmitt Perry Sr. wasn’t Tyler Perry’s biological father. Perry’s biological father remains unknown to this very day.

At age 16, young Emmitt Perry Jr. decided to change his first name to Tyler to distance himself from his father as much as possible.

Tyler Perry didn’t complete high school, but he earned a General Educational Development or GED.

When Perry was in his early 20s, he watched The Oprah Winfrey Show on TV. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey later on, he would share that she was a true inspiration to him, being a woman of color and speaking of the therapeutic effect of writing.

“I had watched your show. This is another thing that could just make me cry, you sitting here now. I watched your show and you were speaking to me. There was nobody around me that told me I could fly. Nobody at school, no teacher, nobody who said, “You’re special.” But I saw you on television and your skin was like mine. And you said, “If you write things down, it’s cathartic.” So I started writing. And it changed my life,” he said to Oprah.

At age 16, young Emmitt Perry Jr. decided to change his first name to Tyler to distance himself from his father even further. Due to his impossibly difficult childhood, Tyler Perry didn’t complete high school, but he earned a General Educational Development or GED.

Personal Life and Family

As for his personal life, Perry now lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He has a son with Gelila Bekele, his former partner. Aman Tyler Perry was born in 2014.

Tyler Perry Net Worth: From an Impossible Childhood to a Highly Successful Career

In his early 20s, Tyler Perry’s life wasn’t much better than it used to be in his childhood. He suffered from tremendous trauma and he was a high school dropout so his prospects in the job market were quite poor.

However, being a highly ambitious person, he worked all kinds of odd jobs to obtain as much experience as possible. He worked at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, sneaking into closed gatherings to listen to the speakers. He later sold cars and worked as a bill collector.

Eventually, the odd jobs allowed young Perry to save around $12,000, the money he used to rent space at an Atlanta community theater, where he produced his first musical. Little did he know that this investment was the first step on the way to becoming a billionaire.

Tyler Perry Gets His Start in Theatres

In the search for better career opportunities, Tyler Perry moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he worked on his first play, I Know I’ve Been Changed, inspired by the letter he wrote when he was younger. Two years after the move, he had enough money to finance the play’s first performance at a community theater, when he was 22.

I Know I’ve Been Changed included Christian themes of self-worth and forgiveness. Through the play, Perry spoke of dysfunctional families and child abuse, inspired by his difficult childhood.

In the beginning, the musical got a poor reception and was a failure, financially speaking.

At one point, his story of child abuse survivors wasn’t even making enough money to allow him to pay his rent. For three months, he lived out of his car, working on the production, and tweaking it to make it more popular.

Even though this wasn’t common for a theater director or writer, he started designing the set and making the programs himself, trying to save as much as he could to keep the play up and running longer. Arthur Primas, Perry’s promoter, once shared:

It took me I don’t know how many days to finally get him convinced that the writer, director, does not do this.

tyler perry i know ive been changed program
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The Growing Success of Perry’s Play

His persistence paid off soon after. In 1998, he retooled the play and restaged it at the House of Blues and the Fox Theatre, subsequently creating more stage productions. He toured non-stop, building a strong following with Christians and Black Americans.

The character he is most famous for, Madea, a funny grandmother with a wig, started trending among people with burdens and those who enjoyed brutally honest humor.

tyler perry madea
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At one point, one of the people who saw and loved the play was Oprah Winfrey. “I was aware of the traveling plays, but I never really took them seriously because… I considered myself a person who appreciates theater and Broadway,” she shared. “But I went to see one in Los Angeles, and I was not just moved by it, I was changed by it.”

In 2001, Tyler Perry appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s Show for the very first time. The two immediately became life-long friends.

By 2005, following the debut of Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Forbes reported that Tyler Perry had made over $100 million in ticket sales for the play, $20 million in merchandise sales, and $30 million in videos of his shows. The 300 live shows he produced had an attendance of 35,000 people per week.

Lionsgate Contract and Perry’s First Movie

Based on his success, Perry approached the production company Lionsgate, proposing that he would put up half the money for his next movie, which required a $5.5 million budget. This would turn out to be one of the best investment decisions ever made because he would keep the rights to the movie and nearly half of its profits.

Using the $5.5 million budget he accumulated through ticket sales and with the help of Lionsgate, Tyler Perry funded his first movie titled Diary of a Mad Black Woman in 2005.

The movie scored a 16% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it made $22.7 million in its opening weekend, making it an instant success. It eventually grossed $50.6 million domestically, marking the beginning of the Madea franchise.

Eventually, the film earned an additional $150 million from home video sales and TV syndication. Based on the contract with Lionsgate, Perry owns the content and half the profits, minus the 12% fee for distribution and marketing that went to Lionsgate.

In the six years following the contract, Tyler Perry produced ten films for Lionsgate, which grossed over $520 million at the North American box office alone. Six years later, Lionsgate extended the partnership with a new multi-year deal.

According to the LA Times, the renewed contract gave Tyler Perry total creative freedom in producing new movies and didn’ include his television work, which is distributed by Debmar-Mercury, a Lionsgate’s subsidiary.

Other Tyler Perry Films and Screen Successes

Perry’s next film was an adaptation of Madea’s Family Reunion and Perry’s directorial debut. Since then, he has directed every single Madea film ever made.

Madea’s Family Reunion opened at number one at the box office on February 24, 2006, with $30.3 million, eventually grossing $65 million. The film was promoted on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

The next Lionsgate project for Perry was Daddy’s Little Girls, which aired in the United States in February 2007 and grossed over $31 million.

That same year, Perry wrote, starred in, and directed the next film titled Why Did I Get Married?, which opened at number one and grossed $21.4 million the opening weekend.

The filming for the latter movie began in Whistler, British Columbia, but later switched locations to Atlanta since Tyler Perry had just opened his own studio at the time.

In 2008, Tyler Perry released his next film, Meet the Browns, which had a $20.1 million weekend gross and opened at number 2. In September of the same year, he produced and released The Family That Preys, which grossed an incredible $37.1 million.

In 2009, Perry had his seventh collaboration with Lionsgate Entertainment and the largest opening at the time with Madea Goes to Jail, which grossed $41 million. Also in 2009, he took a small role in Star Trek as Admiral Barnett, the Starfleet Academy commandant.

This year was very fruitful for the film producer.

He next wrote and starred in I Can Do Bad All By Myself, once again crafting a masterpiece as part of his Madea franchise. The movie also reached number one at the box office.

tyler perry i can do bad all by myself
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In 2009, he also co-produced a film based on Push, the novel by Sapphire, called Precious, with Lee Daniels and Oprah Winfrey.

A year later, it was time for the sequel of the famous Why Did I Get Married?, titled Why Did I Get Married Too? The sequel opened in theatres in April with a star-studded cast featuring Tasha Smith, Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, and more. It made $29 million the opening weekend and $60 million in total gross profit domestically.

Incredible Success with the Sitcom Tyler Perry’s House of Payne

In 2006, Tyler Perry built a soundstage in Atlanta and created Tyler Perry Studios, through which he directed, wrote, and produced Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. The sitcom ran for eight seasons between 2006 and 2012, following an African-American household across three different generations.

After a very successful pilot run, Tyler Perry signed a 100-episode deal with TBS worth $200 million.

He subsequently wrote, directed, and produced another sitcom titled Meet the Browns, which aired between 2009 and 2011.

Other Production Projects

At this point, Perry’s Madea movies were a tremendous success worldwide, and, to date, he has produced 14 films as part of the franchise.

Let’s take a look at his following projects:

  • Madea’s Big Happy Family, a stage show that was released as a movie in 2011
  • Good Deeds, a romantic drama film released in February 2012
  • Madea’s Witness Protection, released in June 2012
  • Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, released in March, 2013
  • Tyler Perry Presents Peeples, his production released in December 2013
  • The Single Moms Club, which he produced, released in March 2014
  • Madea’s Tough Love, his first animated film, released in January 2016
  • Boo! A Madea Halloween, released in October 2016
  • Boo, 2! A Madea Halloween, released in October, 2017
  • A Madea Family Funeral, released in 2019
  • A Madea Homecoming, released in 2022 on Netflix
tyler perry madea homecoming
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Other Acting Roles

In addition to this, Tyler Perry starred in Alex Cross, taking the role of James Patterson’s Alex Cross from Morgan Freeman. This performance led to a second major role, this time in the 2014 thriller Gone Girl, after he was selected by director David Fincher.

He also starred in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows in 2016, playing scientist Baxter Stockman.

tyler perry teenage mutant ninja turtles
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Finally, he lent his voice alongside Oprah Winfrey in his first computer-animated film The Star, released in 2017.

Notable Partnerships and Projects

In 2017, Tyler Perry parted ways with Lionsgate. He has since had several high-profile partnerships, including those with Viacom, BET’s parent company, as well as the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Partnership with the Oprah Winfrey Network

In October 2012, Perry struck a multi-year partnership with the Oprah Winfrey Network, after which he released For Better or Worse, which premiered on TBS in 2011. The series was initially canceled in 2013 but was revived for a third season in 2013.

During his partnership with the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN Studio), Perry created shows including If Loving You is Wrong, Love Thy Neighbor, and The Haves and Have Nots.

tyler perry oprah partnership
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Partnership with Viacom

The partnership with OWN ended in 2019, after which he signed a new deal with Viacom, agreeing to produce 90 episodes annually of comedy series and original drama series. With the contract, Viacom also got exclusive distribution rights to his short-form video content.

Viacom reportedly pays Tyler Perry $150 million per year to make new TV shows and films and also gave him a 25% equity stake in the streaming service BET+, worth around $60 million.

He recently signed a new deal that extends his partnership with the network, ensuring the continuation of all ten of his series on BET, alongside a new crime drama that is set to premiere in 2025.

tyler perry bet partnership
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Earnings as an Actor and Film Director

While the details of his earnings remain undisclosed, Forbes reported that the Madea franchise earnings alone have been $290 million. Considering that Tyler Perry owns the rights to the movies as well as stars in them, he most likely got a large chunk of this sum for the franchise alone. His movie library is estimated to be valued at $320 million.

Perry’s films are co-produced and distributed by companies like Lions Gate Entertainment, but he has full copyright ownership under Tyler Perry Films, so he most likely adds the lion’s share of the profits into his net worth.

In 2011, Tyler Perry was titled the highest-paid man in the entertainment industry, having earned $130 million in a single year.

Tyler Perry Net Worth: Other Investments and Businesses

In addition to his incredible career in directing, producing, and acting, Tyler Perry has made some major investments in real estate and assets like private jets.

He is also the founder and owner of Tyler Perry Studios, one of the largest film studios in the United States. Let’s take a look at what else he has invested over the years.

Tyler Perry Studios

In 2015, Perry acquired the former military base Fort McPherson in Atlanta. He then invested millions to convert the base into studios, which were used to film massive movies and TV shows like Black Panther, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and The Walking Dead.

A large portion of Tyler Perry Studios is dedicated to permanent sets such as a White House replica, a luxury hotel lobby, a mansion, a trailer park set, a 1950s-style diner, and a mock cheap hotel.

tyler perry studios white house
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Today, Tyler Perry Studios is one of the largest studios in the nation. Perry spent $30 million on the land itself and $250 million renovate it.

Authorship

The famous television director has also written two books in his career. His first book was published in April 2006, and was titled Don’t Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea’s Uninhibited Commentaries on Love and Life. This book sold 30,000 copies, bringing Perry’s success away from the TV screens and into the bookstores. The book was on the New York Times Bestseller list for 12 weeks, holding first place at one point.

In 2017, Perry published his second book titled Higher Is Waiting, which was also a major success. The book debuted at number 5 on the New York Times Bestseller list.

tyler perry higher is waiting

Real Estate Assets

In 2007, Tyler Perry invested in a 17-acre estate in Buckhead, Atlanta. The property was worth $9 million when he bought it, and he sold it in 2016 for $17.5 million to David Turner, the entrepreneur, which was the biggest sale ever for a private home in the area. The estate is now reportedly owned by Steve Harvey.

In 2014, he acquired 1,100 acres in New Manchester, Georgia in Douglas County through his company ETPC LLC. The amount he spent on this land remains undisclosed.

Since he has been gathering land in the area for a couple of years, planning to build a home, his future primary residence in Douglas County, Georgia is expected to be worth at least $100 million. Even so, we don’t know how much he owns in land in the greater Atlanta area these days.

Furthermore, in 2017, Perry bought a home in Mulholland Estates, Los Angeles. He sold the Los Angeles property nine months later for $15.6 million to Pharrell Williams.

Today, Perry owns vacation properties in the Bahamas and Wyoming, as well as a 2,100-acre estate in Douglasville, Georgia, which includes a house and an airstrip for his two private jets.

tyler perry georgia home
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He reportedly still owns a property in Los Angeles, located in Beverly Ridge Estates, which he custom-built at one point.

In 2020, he made his mansion available to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, his friends, to help them make a new life in Los Angeles. This property is worth over $20 million. He reportedly bought it in 2004 for $9 million.

Other Assets

Tyler Perry’s Gulfstream III private jet is worth $125 million after he spent at least $50 million to refurbish and customize it. He also owned a Gulfstream V private jet at one point, which he reportedly sold to megachurch preacher Kenneth Copeland for an undisclosed amount.

Tyler Perry’s Philanthropy 

Tyler Perry’s net worth has gone far beyond $1 billion and he likes to give back to the community in various ways through philanthropy. Over the years, he has donated a fortune, mostly through his charitable Tyler Perry Foundation. His most notable charitable actions to date include:

What Can We Learn from Tyler Perry’s Story?

Tyler Perry’s journey from a difficult childhood to becoming a billionaire in the entertainment world offers numerous lessons in business acumen, creativity, and resilience.

His story underscores the importance of perseverance and believing in one’s passion.

After an impossibly difficult upbringing, Tyler Perry has worked tirelessly to create a story that will connect with African American audiences and anyone who has struggled through similarly difficult burdens.

After enduring personal hardships, Perry channeled his experiences in over two dozen stage plays that resonated deeply with many people.

Moreover, Perry’s strategic financial decisions, such as his deals with Lionsgate and his investment in Tyler Perry Studios, highlight the significance of making informed investment decisions.

Many creatives sell much if not all of their creations to studios and other kinds of corporations but Perry was smart enough to pay up to keep the rights to his movies. If he hadn’t, he likely wouldn’t be a billionaire today.

His success also shows us how one can build an empire from scratch using only hard work, talent, and faith. Perry’s belief in his vision is truly inspiring, showing us that one can achieve anything they set their mind to as long as they are capable – and strong enough to cross the barriers along the way.