Tyler Perry has opened up about paying late actress Cicely Tyson $1 million when working on one of his movies for a single day.
Tyson passed away last year aged ninety-six, but before she died, Perry made sure she knew what she was worth after decades of being underpaid in the industry.
In an interview with AARP’s The Magazine, Perry admitted to paying Tyson — who had worked on countless Hollywood movies — “a million dollars” back in 2007, for his movie Why Did I Get Married?
He explained: “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.”
The actor turned filmmaker admitted that he “loved working with Tyson” sharing, “It makes me feel great that I was in a position to give this incredible woman some security in her latter years.”
They worked together on a number of his movies, including; Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005), Madea’s Family Reunion (2006), and Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010).
Tyson was a legend in the entertainment industry, with a career spanning a whopping sixty years. Her performances helped pave the way for the representation of black women in Hollywood today.
After she died last year, Perry shared a heartfelt tribute to the actress on Instagram: “My heart breaks in one beat while celebrating her life in the next,” he wrote.
“To think that she lived for 96 years and I got to be a part of the last 16 brings me great joy. She called me son. Well, today your son grieves your loss and will miss our long talks, your laughter from your belly, and your very presence,” he continued.
“Always so regal, always so classy, always a lady, always a queen,” Perry added.
“Every time we would talk I would ask, ‘How are you?’ and you would say, ‘I’m still here. He must have something he wants me to do.’ Well, I think it’s safe to say you have done all you were put here to do, and we are all better for it.”
What a heartwarming story!