In a cover story with AARP’s The Magazine, the actor turned filmmaker shared that he once paid the legendary actress “a million dollars” for a single day of work on his movie “Why Did I Get Married?” in 2007.
“This woman had done so many amazing things, but she wasn’t well compensated for it,” he spoke of Tyson who passed away last year at 96. “She made $6,000 for Sounder, you know? I wanted to make sure she knew that there were people who valued her.”
The 52-year-old “Madea” actor shared that he “loved working with Tyson” stating, “It makes me feel great that I was in a position to give this incredible woman some security in her latter years.”
The professional duo worked together on several projects including “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” (2005), “Madea’s Family Reunion” (2006) and “Why Did I Get Married Too?” (2010).
After her passing, Perry took to Instagram to pen an earnest tribute to the actress. “My heart breaks in one beat, while celebrating her life in the next,” he wrote.
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“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.”
The screen legend had a career in film that lasted over 60 years and was a trailblazer for representation in Hollywood.