Madea: Facts & Figures

Madea is the fictional, sassy, elderly woman portrayed by Tyler Perry in drag.  Do you know the following about her?

Mabel Simmons  is Madea’s name

Madea was born in New Orleans April 26, 1935

The family moved to Atlanta Georgia when she was 16

She attended Booker T. Washington High School and was a cheerleader there

Madea is 6’5” tall

Her mother was “Big Mabel” Murphy a gentle hooker who had a very long fuse that you didn’t want to see go off

Joe is Madea’s brother

Joe sleeps downstairs in the 1900 style house on Avon Avenue in Atlanta.  Even though on oxygen he will smoke marijuana

She is called “po-po ho” by her brother Joe.  This refers to someone who is  proficient at running from police

Madea’s had a sister she didn’t care for named  Irene. In “Madea’s Family Reunion” everyone attends her funeral.  Madea claims she is happy Irene is gone and figures she died on purpose in order to avoid paying Madea back a loan

“I Can Do Bad All By Myself” was Madea’s  first appearance

Madea’s criminal record began with petty theft around age 9 – went on to gambling at 18 progressing to insurance fraud, check fraud, identify theft, assault, attempted murder and on and on.  She has even been known to fork lift a car from a parking space and drop it because the driver cut her off

Madea’s weapon of choice was a gun

When attacking people she will either: insult them, stab them with her lit cigarette, strangle or punch them with her hands, or fire her gun to scare them rather than kill or injure them

Madea supported her children by stripping, professional wrestling and pole dancing

Madea had 10 husband (nine deceased, from whom she collected insurance money)

Madea is a strong woman emotionally and offers sound advise to those who are important to her

She cannot stand saggy pants on men thinking they look sloppy and cheap

Madea’s drivers license has been suspended for 38 years but that doesn’t stop her from driving if she chooses

In “Madea’s Big Happy Family” her Cadillac becomes a lemon but she continues to drive it risking “Carbon Peroxide poisoning”

Madea’s nephew Brian is a defense attorney also portrayed by Tyler Perry

The barking dog belonging to her next-door neighbor Mr. Leroy Benson drives Madea nuts.  She quiets it down by feeding it sleeping pills

Madea is quick to stand up for herself and for others she thinks have been wronged.  She is used to teach a lesson, despite her outrageous behavior.

Tyler Perry has been criticized by Spike Lee who claims the Madea shows are reminiscent of the old time minstrel shows.    Tyler Perry thinks Spike just needs to shut up and stop finding fault with the work of others.


  1. Linda W says:

    I love Tyler and Madea. No one will EVER make me change the way I feel about them.

    • Amelia says:

      I agree totally…I love her and will continue to love her unless she starts to being a

    • michelle says:

      Spike Lee need to shut up and stop putting someone down for doing there thing. I love me some Madea and Tyler Perry they got me though so tuff times in life…

    • Trisha says:

      I love Tyler Perry’s work. He is awesome. I like the way his movies are made and how no one would give him a chance, so he is a self made man, writer, and performer. You go…and Spike can “shut up”….I agree.

    • ANGIE LEIJA says:

      tyler you are awesome i love all your shows and movies
      keep up the good work

  2. Mary O. says:

    I agree with Mr. Perry. Spike Lee needs to shut up! I love Madea. She is crass, course, rough and she is AWESOME! And she does teach a lesson…for anyone smart enough to listen. So here’s to Madea! Long may she live!

  3. Marilyn Renaldi says:

    I love madea i wish she would come to my house it might not be much but I own it Her show is funny uplifting and true in some cases.I think she is right about telling spike to catch a train .He just don,t know how true some of the things are on her show and if tyler perry plays medea its fine with me shes a hoot and I love her. I have never laughed so much in my life.The things that happen on her shows happens for real for some people every day.Spike needs to get a grip or join the gang and have some fun.

  4. Janet says:

    Every neighborhood needs a Madea!

  5. Alice says:

    I really love Madea. She is funny and very, very wise. There is always a good lesson to be learned when she is around. This “stuff” happens in real life and we need to teach our kids to be prepared. I am 69 yrs old and I am sure anyone growing up in my era can remember the life lessons Madea teaches!! Way to go Mr. Tyler Perry!!!!

  6. Lisa Caywood says:

    I love Madea! Tyler you are the best! Please don’t stop making her movies. Just reading these facts about her, had me laughing so hard! She is hysterical and you are a brilliant and talented person. I will always be a fan! :-)

  7. Venida Martin says:

    Tyler Perry and Madea are a refreshing day of laughter. Many of the things that are seen in the actual play often are happening in families, however Madea (Tyler Perry) also brings out the truth of what needs to happening. Life long lessons are taught through humor and as one of the persons wrote, if you are smart enough to listen you will definatelly learn something.

  8. Priscilla Reynolds says:

    Tyler Perry is the best ever I don’t think there is anyone that can do it better and if you have a problem with that Madea can handle you and anyone else who don’t like it. Tyler Perry is truly a insparation to the young and old we love you.

  9. Joy says:

    Come on Spike, you will recall Brother Malcolm encouraged us to take our disagreements into the closet and shut the door, simply stated, we should avoid criticizing each other with the “majority culture” as an audience. Both you and Tyler are talented people; there are many other talented people who are waiting on the opportunity God bestowed on both of you. Work together for the good of those who desire follow in your footsteps. This begins with respect for self and others.

  10. tammy says:


  11. WorldPeace says:

    My Late Mom and Dad and Uncle Bert Would have love Madea and your talented work Mr Perry and they would also say that in our family I am Madea, laughing I don’t Mind Madea is what today kids need I would have sure been scare of doing something wrong, Madea sets the record straight and the kids can even understand where she’s comming from and her message… Spike Lee you have talent and you shouldn’t hate another just because they have more talent than you AFTERALL Spike Lee what message have your movies Left us.

  12. Mary says:

    I want to know what is the hold up with Why did I get marry III do Janet and Rock hit it off or what ??????

  13. Cindy I. Philemon says:

    Madea has out lived and surpassed many other shows, movies and episodes.
    She is a Legacy…. Tyler Perry worked hard to get where he is and he has helped blessed other struggling Actor’s and Actress’ s to get back on their feet. He has a wonderful big heart. God trusted him and he came through and is blessed to be a blessing. Spike Lee stay in your lane, I am getting ready to do short films just like you did to get where you are now. Many of us looked up to you now it’s his turn he encouraged us through these most trying times. If you can’t say something positive say nothing at all. He paid his dues to society and owes no man.

  14. TERRY says:

    Madea reminds me of the women in my family. My mother was just like her for real…. my mom went home to be with the Lord in 1975. But she was just like Madea, to the bone. Lol. Keep up the good work Tyler Perry. Your a blessing from God. We love you.

  15. Janis moore says:

    Love,love,love, Tyler ever movie he do or play is amazing,,the first play I seen was dairy of a mad black women I brought a boots leg movie from this guy it was suppose to be another movie,I never heard of madea before put that play in and couldn’t stop watching it ,I’ve been hooked ever since,,I went to the play madea gos to DC I fell More in love with her,,she gives great advice about God,,,spike need to go on ,he had his turn, be happy for the next,,may God keep blessing you Tyler,,I love you,,,

  16. Brenda says:

    Are you sure it’s Tyler Perry that is telling Spike to shut up and not Madea??? LOL!!
    I love Madea!! We do need more like her to help these bad ass kids straighten up and walk the right path!!
    I was kind of like Madea when my kids were growing up, minus the police record and the gun! LOL!!!
    My step mom was Madea!! She didn’t mess around or take no crap off of bad kids!!
    In my neighborhood, we looked out for each other! Helped each other!
    And I’m talking about a mostly white neighborhood!!!
    Kids these days are bad!! Parents don’t teach these kids to respect anything!! Including themselves!!
    Well, Mr Perry! Keep those life lessons that Madea teaches coming!!!
    Blessings to you sir!!

  17. Thelma Williams says:

    God bless Madea!! She teaches life lessons and with not much aplomb but gets the job done. I appreciate her wisdom and her no nonsense approach to situations.I think most of us would love to be able to do like Madea and get away with it. How many of us would like to deal with people that cuts us off in traffic or those that take a parking space from us?Where is a wrecker when we need one? May Madea live long and continue her lessons about life. May Mr.Perry never stop stretching the envelope and keeping up the good works.As far as criticism is concerned there will always be those that criticize as it gives them something to do.

  18. Reggie says:

    Tyler Perry, you and the CHARACTER, Madea are the best! We need more! Now, for Spikey boy, I never was a big fan of your movies. I am 46, born and raised in ATL, was in college when your movies started coming out, but I didn’t get into them. Again, shut up and be the Knicks cheerleader. Two snaps!!!!!

  19. keith word says:

    i love tyler perrys work and llllllllllove madea and for spike lee with his little short a— is just jealous of that tyler perry is successful and doing things that he had wished he had done knowing that spike lee (what a supid name spike and his ugly sister joie need to stop hating on my boi tyler

  20. Let’s all be for real. There are some things that I don’t like about
    Madea and I guess Spike feel the same way but I do like Tyler Perry and do like the majority of his movies/ but; on the other hand I am soooooooo happy for him with all the success that he has had. May God continue to bless him .

  21. Dorothy says:

    Spike Lee needs to get a life and leave Tyler Perry alone we love the Madea and Tyler Perry needs to know that dogs bark at moving vehicles….

  22. dona says:

    I love madea and tyler perry . madea is the only 1 who comes close to makin me piss my pants laughin so hard. when I was growin up jerry lewis was the one.. I don’t know spike r his movies and I don’t think he has the right to say anything bout u.he is just jealous that more ppl knows and loves u, that what u do brings joy to ppl and u make more money, (lol) u have a good heart also. love u both madea and tyler

  23. EMILY KERNZ says:

    I admire Tyler Perry for inventing a personality like Madea, Madea is a harsh person but she does have a soft spot for her family. There should be a Madea in all the families to correct the wrong things that happen in our daily lives. I collect her movies because when i need a good laugh i put on one of my DVD’s and watch the movie so my day gets brighter and i can confront the daily issues that happen. She fights for what she believes in and she demostrates what she see’s that is wrong and she corrects it the way she only knows how fighting. She hates abuse and she stands up for the victim. She also teaches some parents that parenting is also correcting your children, because in these days kids are disrespectful to there elderly and there parents. She teaches respect and she wants respect in return.
    Mr Tyler Perry thank you for being who you are and for having Madea with us to lighten our days and teach us values and what to stand up for. Prayers and love sent your way so you can keep teaching ppl what is right or wrong. Thank you for being you. God bless!

  24. caren says:

    The first time I was introduced to one of your plays, I was amazed
    MR TYLER PERRY you are very gifted, and your message are always on point. I hoped to continue you seeing you in movies, and your many talented plays. Keep giving us positive words of wisdom. I always look forward seeing your work on the the big screen, or on television. Keep up the good work

  25. Stephanie Ashitey says:

    I love Madea.:-* I love her so much and I wish this fictional character was real.:-D

  26. Del says:

    I love Madea, and think Tyler Perry is a super gifted young man who is a beautiful person in his heart and mind. These are some of the funniest movies I have ever seen. When I need a day to distress, it always is with Madea. Thank you Tyler. Keep on making movies on Madea.

  27. PWT says:

    Madea rules! She is the funniest character I know. She reminds me of a few of the older black women I grew up around in my neighborhood. Strong women who didn’t take no crap. Spike Lee can just stuff it!

  28. Lucy says:

    I think we need MORE WOMEN like MADEA especially in leadership roles. The men are getting way too soft.

  29. Madea brings laughter to my heart. Life is stressful and she can make me laugh to tears everytime. I love Madea. I would love to see more of her.

  30. Ana Juarez says:

    I love Madea it kind of reminds some stuff that happens in our family and we just laugh. When I feel down I just look at Madea DVD and forget what bothering me. I laugh so hard when I saw the first movie in the theater my husband threaten to leave the moive theater if I wouldn’t stop laughing so hard. I love a good Laugh. Thanks Tyer Perry for giving us Madea. May bless you!

  31. Betty Stair says:

    I admire Tyler Perry because he is not ashamed to speak out of his faith in Jesus Christ.

  32. Karla Melara says:

    Love Tyler Perry, never got to see a play still hoping but I have a another question,

    how many kids did Madea have? is Mr. Brown the remaining living husband? is Mr. Brown cora’s dad?

  33. Erica Wilson says:

    Im just sayin….Sounds like someone needs to take 30mg of “dontchokedathoe” This article is the first time I have heard Spikes name in a minute. Actually cant remember the last time I heard anything about him. Keep doing the amazing work that you do. You truly are an inspiration to ALL different walks of life. I ADORE MADEA and also Tyler Perry. Keep doing the GREAT, AMAZING , CASH MONEY MAKING Work that you do!

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