American playwright, filmmaker, director, and actor who was dubbed 'the highest paid man in entertainment' by Forbes magazine in 2011.
He attempted suicide as a child to avoid his father's attacks. His first work consisted of letters to himself that he adapted into the musical, I Know I've Been Changed.
He wrote the 2006 version of Madea's Family Reunion and produced Diary of a Mad Black Woman, where he acted as Madea in drag.
His father beat him regularly and molested one of his friends. His mother Willie Maxine Perry died in 2009.
He was inspired to begin writing after watching an episode on Oprah, where a writer discussed the therapeutic effects of creating fiction.