Filmmaker, writer and actor Tyler Perry had made it big in Hollywood – but he never forgot where he came from. Nor did he forget LaShun Pace, who he’d worked with prior to his big-time breakout. So when he heard that Pace’s mom was in trouble, Perry didn’t hesitate to help in an incredible way.
Born Emmitt Perry Jr. in 1969, he later changed his name to create separation between himself and his father, who was abusive toward him as a child. Perry, from New Orleans, Louisiana, started writing after hearing about its therapeutic benefits on an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show.
From there, Perry became so committed to writing that it turned into his career. He penned his first play, I Know I’ve Been Changed, in 1992. While it didn’t initially drum up the success he envisioned at the time, only six years later the same show would sell out theaters in Atlanta.