Who knew that a young-man dressed up to look like a female, senior citizen could reap a financial windfall from the public? Tyler Perry must have. The funny, writer who said his mother’s behavior inspired him to portray a character named Madea band actor beat out movie actors Leonardo DiCaprio director Stephen Spielberg, musician Elton John, radio personality Howard Stern, British television producer Simon Cowell and others to be named the highest paid male entertainer in Hollywood by Forbes Magazine.
Perry reportedly made $130 million in profits from his films and two TBS television shows – “Meet the Browns” and “House of Payne.”
Often criticized for projecting “coonery,” Perry first won approval from Black theatre audiences who rallied in cities to see his transformation from a thirty-something male to a feisty, bosomy, no-nonsense, southern grandmother.
Perry’s productions attracted congregations from churches, clubs and volumes of Black support before Hollywood and TBS invested in his comic relief.
During the time he toured the nation with theatrical presentations he also produced film features. His most recent blockbuster film starred Janet Jackson, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Whoopi Goldberg, Kimberley Elise, Thandi Newton, Loretta Devine and a stellar ensemble in “For Colored Girls.”
Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of TV’s “Amazing Race,” and the “CSI” series trailed Perry with a $113 million total for 2010 followed by Spielberg with $17 million.
The only musician on the list named Elton John whose world tour ticketed $200 million, which was shared with his backers.
Simon Cowell reportedly made $90 million.
Others in Forbes Magazine’s big league money makers include James Patterson, Dr. Phil, DiCaprio, Stern and Tiger Woods.