Behold, the many A-listers who have graced Tyler Perry’s movies with their presence. The director, producer, writer, and actor may be best known in pop culture for his Madea franchise (the latest of which, A Madea Family Funeral, hits theaters March 1), but it would be prudent not to leave out his hits that don’t center around the sassy granny.
Up first: the inimitable Thandie Newton. In 2010 she joined the powerhouse ensemble cast of For Colored Girls, which was based on the haunting stage play (and poem). In 2012 Newton starred opposite Perry in Good Deeds — he was the rich businessman whose life was decided for him, she was a cleaning woman in his building, and no, it was nothing like Maid in Manhattan.
Taraji P. Henson
In 2008 (post-Hustle & Flow, pre-Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Henson took a part in The Family That Preys, alongside Sanaa Lathan and Robin Givens, to name a few. The following year, she starred in the Madea movie that people often forget is a Madea movie: I Can Do Bad All by Myself. (She played the down-and-out aunt forced to take care of her rebellious nieces and nephews.) And in 2018 she fronted Acrimony, which is sort of like Gone Girl gone even wilder.
The Mother of Black Hollywood herself has graced two different Tyler Perry movies: Madea’s Family Reunion and Meet the Browns, about a single mom who takes her family to Georgia to meet the relatives they never knew.
That’s Miss Jackson if you’re nasty, of course. She joined the ensemble cast of For Colored Girls in 2010, but also starred in Why Did I Get Married? (2007) and Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010), so it seems she has something of an affinity for Perry’s stage adaptations.
Union joined Perry and Thandie Newton in Good Deeds, and in 2007 she starred in Daddy’s Little Girls, alongside Idris Elba and Tracee Ellis Ross. So let’s just say she knows how to pick a costar.
There are few better bragging rights in Hollywood than being able to say that Cicely Tyson has been in four of your movies. The venerable actress’ work with Perry has spanned several different genres — starting with the very first Madea sighting, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, and the sequel Madea’s Family Reunion. She dispensed sage relationship advice in Why Did I Get Married Too?, and in 2012 she joined Alex Cross, about a homicide detective on the brink.