Although Madea is a fictional character, I admire her. She has spunk, sass, courage, humor, strength, and wisdom. When I first saw Diary of a Mad Black Woman, I thought to myself, “I need a woman like THAT in my life.” It did not even occur to me that my mom is very much like Madea, only a little softer.
The following is stolen straight from Wikipedia:
Mabel “Madea” R. Simmons is a fictional character based on the mother and grandmother of Tyler Perry. Madea is a grey haired, bespectacled aggressive matriarch. She will argue with anyone and has a penchant for her unique pronunciation and enunciation of words as reflected in her tag line, “Purnch You in the Face!” She is also part of a large family, with many children and grandchildren. Her name is spelled variously as “Mabel” and “Mable,” probably in order to confuse government authorities and others when applying for jobs, getting credit cards, etc.
“Madea” or “Madear” is a typical Southern name for a grandmother. The term is a shortened form of “Mother Dear.”
Madea was born in Greensburg, Louisiana in May of 1935, with two siblings: a sister, Irene and a brother, Joe. At some point in her early life she moved to Cleveland, Ohio then she relocated to Waycross, Georgia. Deacon Leroy Brown took Madea to the Waycross African American High School prom in 1953 and that night they had became intimate and later had a daughter, Cora. They did not marry because Madea did not find out that Cora was Brown’s daughter until her class reunion in 2003.Up until that time she was unaware of who the father was. Some of her extended family includes Parker Osgood, her cousin; Vickie, a niece; and several more relatives. In 1953, she married and relocated to metropolitan Atlanta where she still resides.