It’s no secret that billionaire filmmaker Tyler Perry’s heart is as big as his bank account and his film’s box office numbers. Perry is just as well-known for his (not so) random acts of kindness as he is for being one of the most successful, self-made executives in Hollywood, and news of his good deeds just keep on coming.
Over the weekend, the world watched the late-night special event Oprah with Meghan and Harry. During the couple’s sit down with the TV giant they revealed lots of new information about their recent struggles. We learned that Perry had come to the aid of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry after they’d chosen to leave the Royal Family and flee to North America. During their time of need, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were staying in Canada and unclear on where they would live in America and how they were going to keep themselves and their son, Archie, safe without the financial support and security that came along with their royal positions.
Perry came to the couple’s rescue and offered them the opportunity to stay at one of his homes in Southern California. He also paid for their security detail while they got settled into their new life in America. Perry has helped many a famous friend over the years and he’s also give back countless times to the Black community and people in need. Perry has paid funeral expenses for strangers who’ve suffered sudden tragedies, made generous six figure donations to help the homeless youth and communities displaced by hurricanes across the world, created scholarship and advancement opportunities for students, supported talented out of work actors who were struggling to make ends meets, and donated to the legal defense fund of Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker—and that’s merely just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how much Perry gives back.
The list of the many kind things he has done for others throughout his illustrious career to date is far too long to fit into just one article, but here’s a list of some of his most generous and unexpected gestures for the Black women in his world.
He Helped Janet Jackson Grieve Losing Michael Jackson
Just weeks before Tyler Perry and cast began filming Why Did I Get Married Too
, the film’s star, singer and actress Janet Jackson suffered the tragedy of her lifetime—her brother, pop icon Michael Jackson was found dead. Jackson has since shared in the press that at that dark time in her life, Perry was a true friend and part of her support system, calling him “very protective.” She told ExtraTV
, “He was very supportive. Very much there for me with everything that was going on in my life.”
(Photo by Peter Kramer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
He Flew Whitney Houston’s Body Home
In 2012 after her sudden and untimely passing, Perry flew the body
of his good friend, musical icon Whitney Houston, back home from California to New Jersey on his private plane.
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
He Helped Bobbi Kristina Brown’s Family When She Was Found Unconscious
Perry has always been close to Whitney Houston’s family and when her only daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, was found unconscious in a bathtub in her Georgia home in 2015, Perry offered his support
once again. The director offered Brown’s father, Bobby Brown, a ride on his private plane to help him get to his daughter’s side during the crisis. Perry was also seen visiting Bobbi Kristina’s bedside while she lay on life support—Brown died a short time later at the tender age of 22. Here, Perry is shown attending her funeral.
(Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)
He Helped His Good Friend Oprah Put OWN On The Map
In a 2019 Forbes interview, Winfrey revealed that during the time when her TV network OWN was struggling, Perry came through for her in a big way. “It was always described as ‘the struggling OWN network,’” Winfrey told Forbes
. “I was feeling very down about it, actually the most distraught I’ve ever been in my life.” When Winfrey told Perry how she was feeling about the network’s troubles, he hopped on this private jet and paid his good friend an in-person visit to be sure she was okay. Then, he offered a game-changing solution—he’d write the network’s first original scripted series. “He said, ‘give me a minute.’ It was like a half hour, and he comes back with this idea for The Have and the Have Nots,” Winfrey told Forbes. “He is prolific.”
(Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
He Paid Taraji P. Henson Her Worth, First
In 2019, Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson opened up to Variety about how hard it was for her to get paid her worth in Hollywood, despite how talented and deserving she was for her asking price. Taraji said it was Perry who was the first Hollywood studio head to pay her asking price of half a million dollars. “I think the industry knew I was talented,” Henson said
. “But it’s about money. Are you bankable? I had to continuously prove that. I’ve been trying to prove and improve. I was asking for half a million. I didn’t get paid that until I did my first Tyler Perry film,” she said. The leading lady and Perry go way back—she’s starred in multiple films Perry has created and directed.
(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NAACP)
He Honored Legend Cicely Tyson and Padded Her Paychecks
Just days before her passing at the age of 96 on January 28, 2021, legendary actress Cicely Tyson released her bestselling memoir, Just as I Am: A Memoir. Inside the book, Tyson revealed
that Perry, who cast her in many of his films over the years and named a lot at his Atlanta studio after her, had in fact graciously padded her paycheck each time she worked on a project. Perry has always been vocal about his special bond with Tyson and when she passed away he paid a beautiful tribute to their friendship and her legacy on social media.
(Photo by Michael Caulfield/WireImage)
He Offered To Help Keke Palmer’s With Her Skin Condition
In 2020, after revealing her PCOS diagnosis publicly, actress KeKe Palmer opened up about her challenges with acne over the years and how traumatic the experiences were for her in Hollywood. She also revealed that friend Tyler Perry was there to help, telling PEOPLE
her condition was so “traumatic” that he paid for her to get help from the “best dermatologist.”
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
He Helped Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Move Safely
When the couple fled the U.K. and lost their security detail, Perry stepped in to allow them a safe space to regroup as a family, away from the public eye.
(Photo by Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images)