Executive producer Tyler Perry speaks at a news conference for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire during the 34th Toronto International Film Festival September 13, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Director and comic actor Tyler Perry, whose films include the recent I Can Do Bad All By Myself, has given $1 million to the NAACP in the largest gift ever by a single person to that civil rights group.

The gift will be paid over the next four years and was made to commemorate the organization's centennial anniversary, the NAACP said in a statement.

Tyler is a courageous pioneer in bringing positive images of African American culture and struggles to the big screen, NAACP chairman Julian Bond said.

Perry, 40, has made a name for himself writing, directing, producing and acting in stage plays, DVDs and movies based on everyday characters in black households. Much of his work is comedic and delves into religious or spiritual themes.

His character Madea, a large grandmother played by Perry, has become extremely popular, and she is the central role in his work ranging from movies Diary of a Mad Black Woman to Madea's Family Reunion and Madea Goes to Jail.

Perry's latest I Can Do Bad All By Myself stars Taraji P. Henson as an alcoholic who falls in love with a handyman.