Tyler Perry is officially a billionaire - take a look at how the Hollywood mogul makes and spends his fortune

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Debanjali Bose
·6 min read
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FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2017, file photo, actor-filmmaker and author Tyler Perry poses for a portrait in New York. Perry is looking to reopen his 330-acre Atlanta-based mega studio soon, but other studios in Georgia are anxiously waiting for Hollywood's green light to return back to work. Perry plans on restarting production at the Tyler Perry Studios complex in July, making it one of the first studios to domestically reopen after production was halted a few months ago to combat the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Invision/AP, File)
Tyler Perry poses for a portrait in New York in 2017. Associated Press

Tyler Perry has an estimated net worth of $1 billion. He joined the seven-figure ranks of Oprah Winfrey, George Lucas, John de Mol, and Steven Spielberg in September.

Writer-director-actor Tyler Perry attends the premiere of Tyler Perry's "A Fall from Grace," at Metrograph, Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Tyler Perry became a billionaire in 2020. Associated Press

Source: Forbes

Forbes broke down his empire into five key areas, including his cash and investments, his stake in the video-on-demand service BET+, and his Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tyler Perry
Tyler Perry. Prince Williams/Wireimage/Getty

Source: Forbes

Perry, 51, was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He shared a close relationship with his mother, who died in 2009. He is estranged from his father.

Tyler Perry mother
Perry with his mother. Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty

Source: Forbes, Seattle Times

Perry is based in Atlanta. He has a son with his former partner, model and activist Gelila Bekele.

Tyler Perry Gelila bekele
Perry and Gelila Bekele. Gary Gershoff/WireImage/Getty

Source: AJC

Perry got his start in theater. His first play - "I Know I've Been Changed" - opened to a mostly empty theatre. 13 years and many other plays later, he released his first film, "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," in 2005, jumpstarting his Madea franchise. The movie made $22.7 million in its opening weekend.

Tyler Perry
Perry, winner of Outstanding Theatrical Film for "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" M. Caulfield/WireImage for BET Network

Source: Tyler Perry, Fox

One of Perry's best-known projects is the movie franchise Madea, in which Perry himself dresses as an elderly Black woman and plays the titular role. In a 2017 appearance on the "Today" show, Perry said that him playing the role happened by accident.

tyler perry madea
Perry as Madea during a 2017 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Andrew Lipovsky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Source: Today

Perry made 11 Madea movies over the course of 15 years. The final installment - "A Madea Family Funeral" - made $27 million in its March 2019 opening weekend. Perry made the highest-grossing Madea movie, "Madea Goes to Jail," exactly a decade prior to that. It brought in $90 million in total box office earnings in 2009.

Madea tyler perry jimmy fallon
Perry as Madea. Andrew Lipovsky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Source: Variety, Forbes

All of Perry's Madea movies were distributed by studio giant Lionsgate. The films collectively brought in over $1 billion in ticket sales while the production cost of each was approximately $20 million. It is unclear how much Perry has personally made from the franchise.

Madea poster
Poster for a Madea installment. John Parra/Getty Images for Lionsgate

Source: Variety, New York Times

Perry and Lionsgate had a "first look" deal for eight years from 2008 to 2014. In a first-look deal, the creator owns the copyright to his material.

tyler perry billionaire
Perry is America's newest billionaire, according to Forbes. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Source: Variety, Kennington Groff

Since parting ways with Lionsgate, Perry has had a number of much-talked-about partnerships with Viacom, BET's parent company, and the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Oprah Winfrey Tyler Perry
Perry and Winfrey. JB Lacroix/WireImage/Getty Images

Source: THR

In a September profile, Forbes estimated that approximately $60 million of Perry's billion-dollar net worth came from his stake in BET+.

Tyler Perry
Perry. Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for BET

Source: Forbes

In 2017, Perry signed a contract with Viacom, BET's parent company, to produce exclusive original content for BET. The deal is slated to run through 2024 and didn't start until after Perry's contract with OWN ended in 2019.

Viacom
A Viacom office building. AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty

Source: CNN, NYT

This multi-year partnership grew into creating a video-on-demand subscription service in 2019 known as BET Plus, Variety reported. It will feature Perry's extensive library of work as well as BET programming.

bet network logo
Perry's partnership with BET is one of his most lucrative. BET

Source: Variety

In 2015, Perry forked out $30 million to buy over 300 acres of a former US Army base in Atlanta. Tyler Perry Studios sits on that plot. Forbes estimates the studio is worth $280 million.

tyler perry studios
Tyler Perry Studios. Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Source: Curbed Atlanta, Forbes

IndieWire noted that the land used to be a base for the Confederate Army, a point Perry has acknowledged. In a 2019 BET awards speech, he said, "while you're fighting for a seat at the table, I'll be down in Atlanta building my own."

Tyler Perry BET award
Perry at the 2019 BET Awards. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Source: IndieWire, BET

Marvel megahit "Black Panther" was one of the first movies shot at the studio's new stages, AJC reported. Perry took Architectural Digest on a tour of the property in 2019, which comes with neighborhoods, mansions, and even a replica of the White House.

Black Panther hed
Black Panther was directed by Ryan Coogler. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Source: AJC, Architectural Digest

Perry has built an impressive real estate portfolio over the years that consists of several multimillion-dollar properties in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Wyoming.

Tyler Perry
Perry. Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Source: Forbes

Perry bought a 34,000-square-foot house in Atlanta in 2007 for $9 million. It has seven bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, a helipad, an infinity pool, and a tennis court.

atlanta highway
Downtown Atlanta. AP Photo/John Bazemore

Source: Architectural Digest

He sold the home to David Turner, an entrepreneur and evangelist, nine years later in 2016 for $17.5 million. Steve Harvey bought the house for $15 million in June 2020.

steve harvey
Steve Harvey. Byron Cohen/Getty Images

Source: Architectural Digest, Variety

Perry owns a mansion worth $18 million in the swanky Beverly Hills neighborhood. He hosted Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in the 8-bedroom, 12-bathroom villa after they moved to Los Angeles and were cut off by the royal family in 2020, the pair confirmed during their Sunday night tell-all interview with Winfrey.

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit Canada House in London, Britain  January 7, 2020. Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via REUTERS
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Reuters

Source: Business Insider, Insider, Daily Mail, Insider

Architectural Digest reported in November 2019 that Perry also owns a log cabin in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and a "previously uninhabited island in the Bahamas." It's unclear how much each property is worth.

Jackson Hole Wyoming
Wyoming. WitGorski/Shutterstock.com

Source: Architectural Digest, The Ellen Show

Real estate isn't his only major investment. Perry owns a $150 million private jet that he used to fly water and other necessities to the Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in September 2019.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks among the debris of his house after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Spring City, Bahamas, September 11, 2019. REUTERS/Marco Bello - RC1D219815D0/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A man walks among the debris of his house after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Spring City Reuters

Source: CNN

Perry is also known to be generous with his wealth. In July 2020, he gifted approximately $50,000 in grocery-store gift cards to those to needed help. He also runs The Perry Foundation, which helps with areas like education, human rights, and health.

FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2017, file photo, actor-filmmaker and author Tyler Perry poses for a portrait in New York. Perry is looking to reopen his 330-acre Atlanta-based mega studio soon, but other studios in Georgia are anxiously waiting for Hollywood's green light to return back to work. Perry plans on restarting production at the Tyler Perry Studios complex in July, making it one of the first studios to domestically reopen after production was halted a few months ago to combat the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Invision/AP, File)
Tyler Perry poses for a portrait in New York in 2017. Associated Press

Source: Today, The Perry Foundation

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