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‘I Was In a Position to Give This Incredible Woman Some Security’: Tyler Perry Opens Up About Paying Cicely Tyson $1M for a Day of Work

Tyler Perry continues to have unwavering admiration for the late actress Cicely Tyson.

The “Madea” star recently opened up about one of the ways he showed Tyson that he valued her. Perry and the legendary actress worked together on five of his projects: “A Fall from Grace,” “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion,” “Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “Alex Cross,” and “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?”

Tyler Perry and Cicely Tyson. Photo: Tylerperry/Instagram

“This woman had done so many amazing things, but she wasn’t well compensated for it. She made $6,000 for ‘Sounder,’ you know? I wanted to make sure she knew that there were people who valued her,” Perry told AARP The Magazine. So, he gave Tyson a seven-figure payday, literally. “So, she did one day of work on my 2007 film ‘Why Did I Get Married?’ I paid her a million dollars,” he said.  

The Hollywood executive went on to say that he loved working with the “Roots” actress, and that it brought him joy to know that she was taken care of financially when working with her. “It makes me feel great that I was in a position to give this incredible woman some security in her latter years,” he said. 

Similarly, Tyson revealed that Perry would “pad” her paychecks in her 2021 memoir “Just As I Am.” The actress passed last January at the age of 96. As throngs of tributes made their way online, Perry made certain to express his unconditional love and appreciation for the actress. “This one brought me to my knees! She was the grandmother I never had and the wisdom tree that I could always sit under to fill my cup. My heart breaks in one beat, while celebrating her life in the next. To think that she lived for 96 years and I got to be a part of the last 16 brings me great joy,” he wrote online.  

Actress Taraji P. Henson is another person who has earned hefty paydays by working with Perry. The “Acrimony” star has said that he was the first person to pay her her worth. “I wasn’t a greedy person. I understood the game, I know that I can’t make as much as a certain person that’s been in the game longer than me, has proven box office success,” she explained while appearing on “The Real.” Perry agreed and paid her her asking price of $500,000 to appear in “I Can Do Bad All By Myself.”

But Perry’s generous paydays are not exclusive to the talent featured in his films. This past June, he made headlines when he revealed his payroll for the year was nine figures. “On this Juneteenth I threw a party for all the incredible people that work at Tyler Perry Studios. I wanted to celebrate the accomplishment that these amazing people have all achieved. My payroll alone was 154 million dollars, and that money went to all the people in this crowd,” he wrote alongside a post shared on Instagram.

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