Tyler Perry on The Oprah Show in 2006

4 of 10
December 6, 2006
Tyler, the first African-American man to own his own production company, Tyler Perry Studios, returned to the Oprah Show stage in 2006 to talk about his Atlanta-based studio and spread some holiday cheer.

His hit films Madea's Family Reunion and Diary of a Mad Black Woman opened at the top of the box office, and his first book, Don't Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings, debuted at number one on The New York Times best-seller list. By channeling his pain, Tyler said he's able to create stories that touch people.

"That's why it's so important to me, because everything I've done, all the movies, there are positive messages in them," Tyler said. "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."

As a child, Tyler was abused and did not begin to deal with the pain until he was 28 years old—the same age NFL wide receiver Laveranues Coles decided to open up about his own childhood sexual abuse on The Oprah Show. After seeing that show, Tyler reached out to Laveranues.

That year, he also donated $1 million to pave the way for Perry Place, a 15-home neighborhood for families affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. "You have come through so much stuff, and I just wanted to say God bless you for making it," Tyler said to the families.