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Tyler's Perry's Mom, Who Inspired Madea, Dies

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Frazer Harrison/Getty

Actor and producer Tyler Perry’s mother, Willie Maxine Perry, has died at age 64.

“Willie Maxine Perry. February 12, 1945 to December 8, 2009. Thank you for all your prayers,” a terse message on Perry’s Web site said Tuesday.

There were no other immediate details about her death.

Perry, 40, credited his mother, a preschool teacher in New Orleans, as the inspiration for his most popular character, Madea. He recently recounted details of his troubled childhood, including how his mother tried and failed to leave his abusive father.
Michael Y. Park