Actors Who Were Unhoused Before Fame

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Years before he would gain fame for playing Madea in blockbuster films and establishing his own production company, Tyler was unhoused and lived in a Geo Metro car for three months. This took place after he’d used all his savings to fund a play he’d written, I Know I’ve Been Changed, which “didn’t work” upon his first several attempts, Tyler told AARP in 2022. The production later saw success and toured from 1998 to 2000, and by 2005 Tyler had made his first film, Diary of a Mad Black Woman.

In 2019, Tyler noticed that a sign on an Atlanta highway had been altered, and it is now labeled with the title “Tyler Perry Studios.” This prompted the performer to express his gratitude for the full-circle moment.

“My eyes filled with water knowing what God has allowed to happen in my life,” Tyler wrote on Facebook. “Atlanta has truly been the promised land for me. I came here with nothing, lived off Sylvan Road, ended up homeless and starving, but I was always praying and believing.”

“I was always keeping the faith, knowing that if I worked hard, did my absolute best, kept my integrity, honored every blessing, and remained grateful through it all that everything would work out. And it has, thank God,” he added. 



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