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Who is Madea?

Tyler Perry created and plays the character ‘Madea.’ She is described as an elderly African-American woman who is fierce.
Perry’s mother and aunt are the inspirations for Madea. Madea is ‘absolutely the PG version of my mother and aunt, and I enjoyed having the opportunity to pay homage to them,’ according to Perry. She’d beat the crap out of you, but make sure the ambulance arrived in time for them to put your arm back together.’

The Madea films and plays are comedies, but they all have serious topics and are meant to convey moral messages about adultery, spousal violence, and the consequences of one’s conduct. Madea was born on June 26, 1935, in Greensburg, Louisiana, and reared in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her maiden name is unclear, however, it is most likely Baker or Murphy, given they were her father’s and mother’s last names, respectively. In the first play, I Can Do Bad All by Myself, and Madea’s Class Reunion, Madea was 65.


Madea’s criminal record dates back to when she was nine years old when she was charged with larceny. At this age, she was charged with her first offense, and by the age of 18, she had progressed to unlawful gambling, check fraud, identity theft, insurance fraud, assault, attempted murder, and car theft.

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