Tyler Perry on The Oprah Show on April 23, 2001

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April 23, 2001
Less than four years before his first Oprah Show appearance in 2001, Tyler Perry was homeless and living in his car. After taking control and turning his life around, Tyler said he was able to become a successful playwright, selling out shows in major cities across the country.

Tyler attributed his success to the power of forgiveness. "I finally listened to the thing that I had written six years ago. Subconsciously, it had come to me and said, 'This is how you become successful at whatever you do: forgive.' Once I learned the power of forgiveness, I was able to move on and everything, everything, changed," Tyler said.

He also acknowledged a certain "woman who came on television every day at 3 p.m."

"Had I not seen that show where you said it was cathartic to actually write things down, I would not have started writing," Tyler told Oprah in 2001. "I would not be here to tell you that when you speak, people's lives change. And thank you for being an instrument that God used to change my life."