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Comedy actor Tyler Perry tried to commit suicide during his abusive childhood, after suffering at the hands of a violent father.
The 38-year-old failed, and later changed his name to disassociate himself from his miserable upbringing. Perry - born Emmett Perry - says, "As a kid, I considered suicide and even attempted it a couple of times because I thought it would be easier to be dead. I remember when I was 17, I did something that ticked (my father) off - something minor. My father grabbed me, threw me to the floor and stomped me."
"There were times when I felt I wasn't going to make it. It was nothing but the grace of God that helped me make it through. It was more frustration than anything - not wanting to be in that situation anymore."
Perry later used his struggles to inspire career success - after watching a 1992 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, he took the talk-show queen's advice and began to compose letters about his abusive past. The compilation then became the basis to his first hit musical I Know I've Been Changed. (JMA/NE/IG)
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