Most known for his NAACP Award-winning role as “Leroy Brown” in Tyler Perry’s popular Meet the Browns plays, movie and syndicated TV Series
Spokesperson for American Diabetes Association
Latest CD, Best Days (2012)
Appears in the upcoming movie ) Sparkle (opens Aug. 17
Plays “Cora Simmons” in Tyler Perry’s popular Meet the Browns plays, movie, and syndicated TV series
Stars of Meet the Browns on Faith, Food, & Hollywood
The 700 Club
THE MULTI-TALENTED MANNS
David and Tamela Mann is a fun-loving, multi-talented couple who have succeeded in music and comedy. They have appeared on stage and the big and small screens. They are most famous for playing two of Tyler Perry’s most loved characters. David is best known for playing the outrageous, wise-cracking “Leroy Brown.” Tamela plays “Cora Simmons,” Leroy’s “loving, churchgoing, but woe to those who cross me” daughter. The characters are so popular that they have been the subjects of a Meet the Browns play, movie, nationally syndicated TV show, and make appearances in other Tyler Perry projects.
This husband and wife grew together as artists. David had a natural gift for making people laugh. Tamela’s first love was music and she had been singing since she was eight. She was active in her church choir. They met in high school as late teens through a mutual friend, who invited Tamela to come to her high school choir practice. Tamela met David, Kirk Franklin, and Darrell Blair, who had their own singing group called Humble Hearts. One evening, David and Darrell came to see her sing and were impressed by her vocal talent. Later the Humble Hearts asked her to join the group. David and Tamela became good friends. That friendship turned into something more and they married a few years later. Their friend Kirk Franklin soon formed the gospel group “Kirk Franklin and the Family,” which David and Tamela joined. While on tour with “Kirk Franklin and the Family,” a promoter they knew introduced them to an up and coming playwright, Tyler Perry. They starred in several Tyler Perry plays as the lovable “Leroy Brown” and “Cora Simmons.” Tamela says she never expected the success they’ve had with acting. Her acting gift was “stirred” when she worked with Tyler Perry. Today, they have been married for 24 years, have raised five children, and have eight grandchildren.
Last year, Tamela won a Dove Award for her CD, The Master Plan. Her new gospel CD Best Days has just been released. She is also a part of the much-anticipated last film of Whitney Houston, Sparkle. Tamela says working on the movie was a really wonderful experience. She auditioned by sending in a tape and earned the role of Whitney Houston’s best friend, Sarah Waters. All of Tamela’s scenes are with Whitney. Tamela says Whitney was a joy to work with – she was always singing. Overall, Tamela says Sparkle is a good movie, especially for aspiring artists.
FOOD AND FAMILY
Family is a priority for the Manns. No matter how busy they get, Tamela and David make the time for family. Tamela says home time is home time and work is work time. Family is very important. Whatever they can do together, they like to do as a family. Their family loves waterparks. They spend a lot of time together at home and in the kitchen. Tamela recalls last Christmas they did a cooking contest like the cooking show “Chopped.” The Mann family likes talking and eating. Tamela also shares that it is good to involve your family in cooking. She tells her children to be well-rounded: know how to cook, clean, etc.
Tamela’s tip for cooking and eating healthy on the road is that it’s all about making good choices. Stay balanced. She says everything you eat can’t be bad. For example, you can’t eat all fried foods. Tamela says she and David are accountable to one another. Making the right food choices is easier when you cook at home. It’s a challenge when you’re out to pick good food. Cooking is always best. They will be sharing Blackened Shrimp Po’boy Mann Style and Apple Slaw.
David and Tamela genuinely enjoy each other’s company. David loves being with Tamela more than any other person. Tamela says they’ve learned to agree to disagree when they don’t see eye to eye. There are some principles that Tamela says have helped them stay together all of these years. They make a point to make each other happy. Tamela says they “outdo each other doing for each other.” Divorce is not an option. Pleasing God is the center of their relationship. They deal with practical things face to face and face them together. They tell each other all the time that they enjoy each other. Tamela also says time together doesn’t have to be expensive. Have focused time together. Do something where you can talk/relate to each other and see where each other is. Make each other number one. The Manns have a new ministry, Biblical Marriage in a Practical World, which gets families to deal with things in practical ways. Love covers a multitude of faults. Tamela says with this ministry they want to encourage families. Some of the topics they will cover are blended families, staying together/dedicating to one person, and staying virgins until marriage.
Tamela’s new album, Best Days, was released August 14. Old friend Kirk Franklin wrote and produced the song “Take Me to the King” for her. Tamela says the lyrics are heartfelt and it has been touching many people. She has received feedback that the song says exactly what many individuals are feeling now. People are tired, are dealing with problems, and asking, ‘Lord, are You there?’ ‘Do You hear me?’ It touches her how many people have responded to the song. It really communicates casting cares on the Lord. Tamela wants to encourage people that in this season, we can’t do anything without God. She says she’s gotten to where she is because of her faith in God regardless of circumstances.
MORE ABOUT DAVID AND TAMELA
David grew up in Texas. Since he was young it was evident that he had an innate gift of making people laugh. David decided to focus on acting. At 15, he was involved in several high school activities, like contemporary drama. He was often cast as the funnyman where his flair for comedy was developed. David quickly gained recognition in high school and local community theater productions with his diverse talents. A few years later he was able to utilize his singing and comedic talents on a larger scale. He also found fulfillment as a husband and father.
Tamela had an impoverished childhood in Texas. She grew up in a family as the youngest of 14 children. Faith in God has always been the foundation of Tamela’s life. From the beginning, music was her comfort. She and her siblings were not allowed to listen to R&B or the Blues, so they listened to a lot of gospel music in the house. Tamela loved the gospel sounds of Walter Hawkins, Edwin Hawkins, Andrae Crouch and the Clark sisters. She joined the choir with her siblings when she was eight. She continued in church and school choirs. Tamela met David through her best friend, Nicole. Through this she found her path to success in music, love, and life.
MEET THE BROWNS
Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns is a sitcom that revolves around a senior family living under one roof in Decatur, GA. The patriarch is Mr. Brown (David Mann), who shares his home with his daughter Cora Simmons (Tamela Mann). The show premiered on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 and finished its run on November 18, 2011 on TBS. However, the characters played by the Manns continue to live on in Tyler Perry's plays and films.
David Mann plays Leroy S. Brown, a church deacon in his mid-70s who is very proud about being saved. He was married, but his wife passed aways years ago. In the original Tyler Perry plays, Mr. Brown had a daughter (Cora Simmons), as a result of a prom-night escapade with Mabel "Madea" Simmons. Although he isn't the most educated of his family, Mr. Brown has a quick sarcastic wit and is known for his outrageous taste in fashion. He doubles as a hospital janitor and a school enforcement officer, who tends to go overboard with authority when wearing the badge. He isn't terrible when it comes to karate and often breaks out his trademark "Kangaroo" move. His catchphrases include, "Stop being nasty!", "This is your granddaddy!", "What the what?" and "The Devil is a liar!" Although he has used many variations to what the middle initial "S" is in his name, it was revealed in one episode that his middle name is Sakagawea.
Tamela Mann plays Cora Jean Simmons-Brown, the daughter of Mr. Brown and Madea. She is a teacher and a praying woman who is very active in her church. However, when angered, she shows aspects of her mother, Madea. In the series, she became engaged to Reggie Brooks, the football coach at her school who lives with his mother, Thelma. (It should be noted that in Perry's play and movie Family Reunion,
Cora had 2 adult daughters.) Moreover, the series revealed that Cora is allergic to laxatives, and she is afraid of mannequins and test-dummies. Her age is never flat-out revealed. In fact, the closest she came to revealing her age was in the episode "Meet the Big Wedding" in which she states, "Mr. Brown, I am" [covers mouth] "years old!" Cora has known for many years that Mr. Brown is her father, and he often references raising and being there for her. Then in the Madea's Big Happy Family
movie, Madea claims that Mr. Brown has given her $18 in child support: $1-per-year from her birth to age 18.
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