Mabel "Madea" Simmons, is the protagonist of the "Madea" series. She is the matriarch of a large and extended family. She is tall, overweight, and very outspoken. She is also aggressive and firm with her family, often pulling out a pistol or resorting to physical disciplinary methods when they disagree with her authority, regardless of their age. She seems to have numerous guns, four in one play. She appears in the plays, movies, and television timelines of the Tyler Perry universe, and is one of the few characters who is widely known in each. Her character is the same in each, the differences only being her age and extended family.
Not much is known about Madea's actual background, but it is revealed in Madea's Family Reunion that she has an aunt Ruby, and she is at least 65 years old. In Madea Goes to Jail, she said that she was also a stripper so she can bring in money and raise her daughter Cora Simmons.Also in Madea Goes to Jail it shows how much crime she has actually committed. From a very young age she has been a criminal. At nine, she was in trouble for petty theft. She also a single mother, who has one child.
In the play, Madea lives in a house often visited by other family members who are enduring some sort of hardship. She allows these family members to stay with her temporarily. In the play, her family is very large, consisting of three siblings, a number of nieces and nephews, grandchildren, and a few great-grandchildren, as well as one great-great grandchild. Her most widely known daughter, is her middle and only living child, Cora Simmons. Her deceased children are Michelle Griffin and William Simmons, both who have been mentioned somewhere along the lines in the series.
Madea is the main character in almost all of them. Her personality is still the same, however, their have been changes to her extended family, as well as her age. In the movie series Madea is now in her seventies. Her siblings are brother Joe first shown in Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Aunt Bam introduced in Big Happy Family, and an unnamed sister(possibly Irene from the play) who died leaving behind a misguided niece named Shirley who fails to keep her adult children in order before her passing. Madea also has a court ordered foster daughter named Nikki, as well as a niece named Victoria with two adult daughters. Her known children still consist of Cora and William(deceased), but her oldest appears to have been eliminated.
One major change is the age of Madea's daughter-in-law, Myrtle Simmons, who in the play was a middle-aged widow, but now is an elderly woman the same age as her mother-in-law, suggesting that either Madea's son married a woman twice his age, or Madea had him in her teen years before Cora. William's daughter, Helen, is the main character of the first film and is well in her thirties after being married for nearly twenty years, supporting the fact that Madea may have had him as a teen before Cora.
Madea has a limited role in the House of Payne series, only appearing in a few episodes. She is an unseen character in Meet the Browns who is referenced numerous times by Brown or Cora. In this timeline, she is in her mid-60s, which is only confirmed through Mr. Brown's official age listed on the official Meet the Browns Website. It is stated that the two went to prom together, thus, making her the same age, differing from the play where she is 68, and the movie timeline where she is in her mid-70s. Her only known family in this series is Cora, and her foster daughter Nikki, who also exists in the movie timeline as well.