Tyler Perry revealed that he paid the late Cicely Tyson $1 million for one day of work on one of his biggest films.
In an interview with AARP The Magazine for its August/September cover story, Perry says he paid $1 million for a single day of work for her role in his 2007 film Why Did I Get Married?
Tyson, who is credited for paving the way for Black actresses in Hollywood, has appeared in films such as 'Sounder,' 'The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman' and 'Fried Green Tomatoes.'
She also appeared in television shows such as Roots,How To Get Away With Murder, Sweet Justice and Cherish The Day.
Perry told AARP, “I’ve never said this publicly, but I took care of Ms. Tyson for the last 15 years of her life. She was a proud woman, and the only reason I mention this is because she wrote it in her book. This woman had done so many amazing things, but she wasn’t well compensated for it. She made $6,000 for Sounder, you know?”
Perry was righting a wrong.
He continued, “I wanted to make sure she knew that there were people who valued her. So, she did one day of work on my 2007 film Why Did I Get Married? I paid her a million dollars. I loved working with her. And it makes me feel great that I was in a position to give this incredible woman some security in her latter years.”
Tyson died on January 28, 2021, at the age of 96 years old.
In the wake of Tyson’s death, Perry gave a tribute to Tyson on his Instagram.
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"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," he wrote at the time.
“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,” Perry said. “Always so regal, always so classy, always a lady, always a queen. 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.”