Tyler Perry is officially a billionaire

Tyler Perry poses for a portrait in New York in 2017. Associated Press

Tyler Perry has an estimated net worth of $1 billion. In September, he joined the seven-figure ranks of Oprah Winfrey, George Lucas, John de Mol and Steven Spielberg.

Writer, director and actor Tyler Perry at the premiere of Tyler Perry's

Tyler Perry became a billionaire in 2020. Associated Press

Source: forbes

Forbes has divided its empire into five key areas, including its cash and investments, its stake in video-on-demand service BET+, and its Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry. Prince Williams/Wireimage/Getty

Source: forbes

Perry, 51, was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He had a close relationship with his mother, who died in 2009. He is estranged from his father.

Tyler Perry's mother

Perry with his mother. Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty

Source: forbes, Seattle Times

Perry lives in Atlanta. He has a son with his former partner, model and activist Gelila Bekele.

Tyler Perry Gelila Bekele

Perry and Gelila Bekele. Gary Gershoff/WireImage/Getty

Source: AJC

Perry started out in the theater. His first play – “I Know I’ve Been Changed” – opened up to a largely empty theatre. 13 years and many other plays later, he released his first film, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, in 2005, launching his Madea franchise. The film grossed $22.7 million in its opening weekend.

Tyler Perry

Perry, Outstanding Motion Picture Winner for Diary of a Mad Black Woman M.Caulfield/WireImage for BET Network

Source: Tyler Perry, Fox

One of Perry’s most famous projects is the Madea film series, in which Perry dresses up as an older black woman and plays the title role. During a 2017 appearance on the Today show, Perry said he happened to play the role.

Tyler Perry Madea

Perry as Madea during a 2017 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Andrew Lipovsky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Source: today

Perry directed 11 Madea films over the course of 15 years. The last part – “A Madea Family Funeral” – grossed $27 million during its opening weekend in March 2019. Perry made the highest-grossing Madea film, Madea Goes to Jail, exactly a decade earlier. It grossed a total of $90 million in box office receipts in 2009.

Madea Tyler Perry Jimmy Fallon

Perry as Madea. Andrew Lipovsky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Source: diversity, forbes

All of Perry’s Madea films were distributed by studio giant Lionsgate. The films collectively grossed over $1 billion in ticket sales, while production costs were approximately $20 million each. It’s unclear how much Perry personally made from the franchise.

Made a poster

Poster for a Madea edition. John Parra/Getty Images for Lionsgate

Source: diversity, New York Times

Perry and Lionsgate had a “first look” deal for eight years from 2008 to 2014. In a first-look deal, the creator owns the copyright to their material.

Tyler Perry billionaire

According to Forbes, Perry is America’s newest billionaire. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Source: diversity, Kennington Groff

Since leaving Lionsgate, Perry has had a series of much-discussed partnerships with Viacom, BET’s parent company, and the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Oprah Winfrey Tyler Perry

Perry and Winfrey. JB Lacroix/WireImage/Getty Images

Source: THR

In a September profile, Forbes estimated that about $60 million of Perry’s billion-dollar net worth came from his involvement with BET+.

Tyler Perry

perry Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for BET

Source: forbes

In 2017, Perry signed a deal with Viacom, BET’s parent company, to produce exclusive original content for BET. The deal is set to run until 2024 and only started after Perry’s contract with OWN ended in 2019.


A Viacom office building. AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty

Source: CNN, NYT

That multi-year partnership led to the creation of a video-on-demand subscription service called BET Plus in 2019, Variety reported. It will include Perry’s extensive library of works as well as BET programming.

Betting network logo

Perry’s partnership with BET is one of his most lucrative. BET

Source: diversity

In 2015, Perry spent $30 million to buy over 300 acres of a former US Army base in Atlanta. Tyler Perry Studios sits on this property. Forbes estimates the studio is worth $280 million.

Tyler Perry Studios

Tyler Perry Studios. Heels Griffin/Getty Images

Source: Braked Atlanta, forbes

IndieWire noted that the country used to be a base for the Confederate Army, a point Perry has acknowledged. Speaking at the 2019 BET Awards, he said, “While you’re fighting for a seat at the table, I’ll be down in Atlanta building my own.”

Tyler Perry BET Awards

Perry at the 2019 BET Awards. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Source: IndieWire, BET

Marvel megahit Black Panther was one of the first movies to be shot on the studio’s new stages, AJC reported. Perry took Architectural Digest on a 2019 tour of the property, which includes neighborhoods, mansions, and even a replica of the White House.

Black Panther Hed

Black Panther was directed by Ryan Coogler. Movies from the Walt Disney Studios

Source: AJC, Architecture Digest

Perry has built an impressive real estate portfolio over the years consisting of several multi-million dollar properties in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Wyoming.

Tyler Perry

perry Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Source: forbes

Perry bought a 34,000-square-foot home in Atlanta in 2007 for $9 million. It features seven bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, a helipad, an infinity pool and a tennis court.

Atlanta freeway

Downtown Atlanta. AP Photo/John Bazemore

Source: Architecture Digest

He sold the home nine years later in 2016 for $17.5 million to David Turner, an entrepreneur and evangelist. Steve Harvey bought the house in June 2020 for $15 million.

Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey. Byron Cohen/Getty Images

Source: Architecture Digest, diversity

Perry owns an $18 million mansion in the chic Beverly Hills neighborhood. He hosted Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in the 8-bedroom, 12-bathroom mansion after they moved to Los Angeles and were cut off from the royal family in 2020, the pair confirmed during their in-depth interview with Winfrey on Sunday night.

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, visit Canada House in London, Britain January 7, 2020. Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via REUTERS

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Reuters

Source: Business Insider, insider, Daily Mail, insider

Architectural Digest reported in November 2019 that Perry also owns a log cabin in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and a “previously uninhabited island in the Bahamas.” It is unclear how much each property is worth.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Wyoming. WitGorski/Shutterstock.com

Source: Architecture Digest, The Ellen Show

Real estate isn’t his only major investment. Perry owns a $150 million private jet that he used to fly water and other necessities to the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian in September 2019.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks among the rubble of his home after Hurricane Dorian struck the Abaco Islands September 11, 2019 in Spring City, Bahamas.  REUTERS/Marco Bello - RC1D219815D0/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: A man walks among the rubble of his home after Hurricane Dorian struck the Abaco Islands in Spring City Reuters

Source: CNN

Perry is also known for being generous with his wealth. In July 2020, he gave away about $50,000 worth of grocery store gift cards to those in need of help. He also runs the Perry Foundation, which helps in areas such as education, human rights and health.

FILE - Actor, filmmaker and author Tyler Perry poses for a portrait in New York in this November 16, 2017 file photo.  Perry intends to reopen his 330-acre mega studio in Atlanta soon, but other Georgia studios are eagerly awaiting Hollywood's green light to return to work.  Perry plans to resume production at the Tyler Perry Studios complex in July, making it one of the first studios to reopen domestically after halting production a few months ago to combat the spread of the coronavirus.  (Photo by Amy Sussman/Invision/AP, File)

Tyler Perry poses for a portrait in New York in 2017. Associated Press

Source: today, The Perry Foundation

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