Originally posted Wednesday, October 2, 2019 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
This is a week of celebration for Tyler Perry, the once homeless playwright who has now become one of Hollywood’s biggest power brokers but planting his roots in his hometown of Atlanta.
Yesterday, in Hollywood, he was rewarded a Hollywood Walk of Fame star with “Scandal” star Kerry Washington and Idris Elba giving him honors.
“From your car to a star!” said actress Crystal Fox at the ceremony Tuesday.
On Saturday, he will be hosting a massive gala at Tyler Perry Studios with expected guests such as Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Whoopi Goldberg, Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Sidney Poitier and Cicely Tyson.
The man’s productivity is without peer, a dedication to his craft that is hard to deny. Over the years, he has produced his own films, starred in several movies and plays and created no shortage of TV shows for TBS, OWN and now BET with a deal with Viacom.
Two new dramas are coming out soon: “Sistas” and “The Oval” for BET.
Perry has developed talent both behind and in front of the camera. At the former Fort McPherson, he has one of the biggest studios now in the Southeast, much less the nation. He honors the trailblazers before him by naming his stages after African-American stars such as Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and Spike Lee.
At his Walk of Star ceremony, Perry dedicated his star to the underdogs, those who wanted to do it their way - like him.
“For all of you whose dreams may be on life support, I want you to walk by this star in particular and know that I’ve been there. I’ve been struggling. I’ve been out, broke, homeless and been through all of those things but there was perseverance, a tremendous faith in God, a tremendous hope to keep going.”
According to a profile in the Los Angeles Times, part of his drive stems from his trauma of growing up poor and barely getting by for so many years.
“I was running from poverty,” Perry told the Times. “When my mother got sick, I just wanted to do well enough to take care of her. I surpassed that, went farther than I ever thought I could financially, and still felt like I needed to run. I never felt like I was far enough away from it. It didn’t matter how much money I made. It’s like people who have gone through trauma or sadness never wanting to look back. That was me. At times, I found it was hard to breathe.”
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