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He's enjoying his current success in comedy, but Tyler Perry's life hasn't always been easy. From the time he was 5 years old until he was 11 years old, Tyler says he was molested by a man and a woman in his neighborhood. He suffered depression and once attempted suicide.

Tyler is grateful to have survived and says he learned to channel his pain through his writing. "I would say that to anybody who's thinking about [suicide], 'You never know where life is going to take you, so just hold on,'" Tyler says.

"Isn't it amazing how much pain you were in, and then you grew up to create a life that you make people laugh?" Oprah asks.

"That's why it's so important to me because everything I've done, all the movies, there are positive messages in them," Tyler says. "I take some criticism for them being so funny or so Christian-oriented or whatever, but a lot of the stories that I tell, it's just about people getting healed and moving on. That's just my own experiences that I've put into film and television and everywhere else."
FROM: The World's Greatest Voices
Published on December 06, 2006


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