Madea Makes A Way: Tyler Perry Is a Celebrity Angel

Tyler Perry, the mega-millionaire Madea player, playwright and philanthropist, apparently does much more than continuously crank out tv shows and movies for his loyal audience; he also quietly extends a helping hand to fellow celebrities.

During Oprah’s bombshell interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this week, it was revealed that when they fled the “toxic” environment they faced with the British royal family and tabloid media, Perry graciously offered them his $18M Los Angeles home as a safe haven, security included — a crucial detail, since the constant protection usually provided to first-tier royals had been removed. But this was hardly the first time Perry has helped out a famous friend in need: Here are six more examples of times when TP quietly came through for celebrities.

Prayers & ‘Olivia Pope’ For Andrew Gillum. After Andrew Gillum’s infamous night in Miami, Tyler Perry used his faith and resources to help the embattled Florida politician. As a cacophony of conservative cackles filled the Internet, Gillum told GQ, Perry reached out to the family and offered to be their prayer partner. He also set the Gillums up with legendary crisis fixer Judy Smith, the inspiration for Scandal’s Olivia Pope. Tyler handled it and did so with grace.

Nearly $100K Rent Payments For Carl Lentz. When celebrity megachurch pastor Carl Lentz was removed from Hillsong Church following that 2020 “moral failures” infidelity scandal, Tyler Perry opened his heart and his wallet for his embattled brother in Christ. When Lentz and his family left New Jersey for Los Angeles in the wake of the drama, Tyler offered more than thoughts and prayers: he reportedly cashed out six months of $16,000 rent payments upfront for the family’s five-bedroom Manhattan Beach house. For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten [Tyler Perry] funds, almost $100K worth at that.

Paychecks and Praise For Cicely Tyson. Before her passing in January, the late Cicely Tyson revealed that Tyler Perry offered her something she wasn’t previously given: her just due. In her Just As I Am memoir, in which Cicely likened TP to a grandson (she was also the godmother to his son), the legend revealed that Tyler Perry courteously packed on heaps more money to her paychecks than she originally asked for simply because it’s what she deserved. “When [Perry] heard how little I was paid for Sounder and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, his mouth fell open,” Tyson wrote. “From then on, he decided to double, and sometimes even triple or quadruple, my asking price for any role he requested that I play.”

Geoffrey Owens Trades Trader Joe’s For ‘The Haves and the Have Nots.’ In 2018, social media did what it does best: the most, this time at the expense of Geoffrey Owens of The Cosby Show fame. The actor who played Cosby’s son-in-law Elvin was job-shamed after he was spotted bagging groceries at Trader Joes. Luckily, Tyler Perry saw it as no laughing matter. Instead he praised Owens on Twitter for his “hustle between gigs” and offered him a recurring role complete with ten episodes on OWN’s “The Haves and the Have Nots.” After at first being a bit gun-shy about a “handout,” Owens accepted the offer and expressed his gratitude to the mogul.

Tyler Perry OWNs Oprah Winfrey Network Detractors. After Oprah ended her talk show in 2011 and launched her OWN network, Oprah admitted that she was “the most distraught she’s ever been in her life” because of OWN’s low viewership and its description by critics as “struggling.” Luckily for lady O, her mentee Tyler Perry offered her a solution that turned out to be a game changer. According to Oprah, TP took about half an hour to think before coming up with the idea for “The Haves and the Have Nots,” OWN’s first scripted series. The show turned out to be a mega-success for the network, and one of its highest-rated series. It also successfully washed off the funk from detractors who labeled OWN an early failure. “He is prolific,” said Oprah about her good friend and visionary.

Tyler Perry Offers His Private Jet For Whitney Houston and Bobbi Kristina Burials. Some of Tyler Perry’s most generous acts involve the Houston-Brown family. Back in 2012, Perry courteously volunteered his jet to transport Whitney Houston’s body to New Jersey ahead of her homegoing. Just three years later, the jet would be extended to the Houston family once again in this midst of tragedy; this time, so Bobby Brown could visit his daughter Bobbi Kristina in the hospital after she was found unconscious in a bathtub and fell into a coma. After Bobbi Kristina’s tragic death, Tyler Perry once again offered his jet, this time so Bobbi Kristina could be buried beside her mother. God bless Tyler Perry.

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