Tyler Perry is giving people their flowers now. Well, in this case, their money.
Perry recently disclosed he once paid the late Cicely Tyson “a million dollars” for her to come in for one day of work on the set of his 2007 movie, “Why Did I Get Married?”
“This woman had done so many amazing things, but she wasn’t well compensated for it,” he said. “She made $6,000 for Sounder, you know? I wanted to make sure she knew that there were people who valued her,” the actor/filmmaker said during his interview with AARP Magainze. Perry will appear on the cover of the August/September magazine.
Perry, 52, added that he “loved working with Tyson” on Why Did I Get Married? “It makes me feel great that I was in a position to give this incredible woman some security in her latter years,” he shared.
Tyson and Perry worked together on several other films, including Diary of a Mad Black Woman(2005), Madea’s Family Reunion (2006), and Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010).
After Tyson’s death, Perry dedicated a heartfelt tribute to her on Instagram. “My heart breaks in one beat while celebrating her life in the next,” he wrote in part. “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.”
“Always so regal, always so classy, always a lady, always a queen,” he 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.”
Tyson’s career in the industry spanned more than 60 years. She has more than 95 credits to her name.
Tyson died last year at the age of 97.