Tyler Perry’s mother, inspiration for Medea, dies at 62

Comedian and pioneer of the “guy in drag as an angry black woman” genre of films, Tyler Perry, announced the death of his mother via a brief message on his website.

Perry, 40, posted the following short update for fans yesterday:

Willie Maxine Perry

February 12, 1945

to

December 8, 2009

Thank you for all your prayers.

Willie Maxine Perry – February 12, 1945 to December 8, 2009 – Thank you for all your prayers.

Perry’s mother Willie served as inspiration for his character “Medea,” featured in three of Perry’s films. Willie Maxine Perry was 62 at the time of her death, but cause of death and further details have not yet been released.

Perry recently went public with details of his painful childhood, telling People about attempts his mother made to leave his abusive father and beatings he suffered as a child:

Beginning with his mother’s failed attempt to leave his abusive father, Perry recounts a horrific list of beatings and hardships he suffered.

“My father came home, mad at the world,” he writes. “He was drunk, as he was most of the time. He got the vacuum cleaner extension cord and trapped me in a room and beat me until the skin was coming off my back.”

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