"We had a love so strong, it was like we were one." -to Vanessa, Lisa & Victoria


Myrtle Simmons is the mother of Helen and widowed by William Simmons whom is Madea's only son. She is portrayed by Tamela Mann in Diary of a Mad Black Woman (play) and portrayed by Cicely Tyson in the films. She is described to be very family orientated. She has two younger daughters, Jackie and Gina.


Helen's husband, Charles McCarter, is a lawyer in search of the American Dream. He makes Helen move her into a retirement home because he does not vision taking care of her as part of an American dream. As long as they were married, Charles was paying towards her mother's stay in the nursing home.

I Can Do Bad All By Myself (Play)Edit

Aunt Myrtle didn't make an actual appearance, but she calls Madea concerned about her health as her blood was so high she went to the hospital having almost when into a coma. Vianne Griffin picks up the phone and briefly talks her before she asks for Madea. Madea finally receives the phone call and ask Myrtle prays for her on the phone, Madea puts the phone down and smokes a cigarette acting blasphemous making Vianne laugh. Myrtle asks Madea if she can borrow some money. Madea says, "Why don't you pray about that and tell me what the lord says."

Diary of a Mad Black Woman (Film)Edit

Helen visits her in the nursing home with a few items. She informs her daughter that they talked to her about the overdue bill and that Madea told her about what happened between her and Charles. Also, makes it clear that Charles does not care for her and he will not pay it. Helen assures her mother she will somehow get it paid.

When Helen brings her mother, Myrtle Simmons, to Madea's house, Joe flirts with her saying that he has some viagra implying that he wants to have sex with her. She also lets him know that she has mace and is not wanting to have sex with him. Joe deems her as mean as a snake while laughing with her turning down his advance. Myrtle speaks about bible while Madea and Joe make jokes about the bible, Charles, and the fact that Helen has moved on with Orlando which she replies quietly, "Baby, don't you open the door before you close the other one. You hear me?

At the end of the movie, she witnesses her daughter finally leave Charles with the divorce papers peacefully and she was proud out how gracefully she handled it due to what he put her through.

Madea's Family Reunion (Film)Edit

Myrtle appears in the dining room of Aunt Ruby's house talking to other female family members when Vanessa and Lisa walk in the room. They wonder where Lisa's fiance is and when they are going to be able to meet him. As they converse, Lisa and Vanessa's mother, Victoria Breaux, walks into the room. Myrtle continues and leads the conversation along with other family members at the table talking about true love.

Myrtle remarks goes onto say that she shared a love so strong with William that it seemed they were one soul. She believes that she was not only blessed, but divinely favored that she was able to spend time with a man that God designed himself solely for her.

Later on at the family reunion, after seeing corruption of her family with young black men gambling and black women disrespecting themselves and others with their lack of apparel, she calls the family together to gather. She says the people that owned the cabin were slaves that gave birth to their generation. She asks were did the disrespect come from, and where did their humble roots of family go? In her speech, she reaches her family with her faith, devotion and convinces her family to look at themselves and reach to find their humble roots of family and respect. She bids them blessings and ask each other to turn to the next family member, hug them, and tell them they love them.

Myrtle's last appearance is at Vanessa's wedding seemingly very proud and secretly whispering to another family member in fun at Vanessa to due to how nervous in love she is with Franky as she walks down the isle.


  • "God is your everything. Don't you know he's a jealous God. He don't want no man before him!" -to Helen.
  • "Baby, don't you open the door before you close the other one. You hear me? -to Helen
  • "We had a love so strong, it was like we were one." -to Vanessa, Lisa & Victoria




  • In the film, Helen is her only child.
  • In the film, because she had Helen at 39 years of age and Helen is at-least 36 years of age, making Myrtle approximately 75 years of age and Madea's age.
  • In the play, Myrtle would be in her 50s having Helen in her late teens or early twenties and her sister throughout her twenties before her husband died.
  • She is a family member that gets news around by the family. It is possible in the play that she is the family member that told everyone about Madea being sick. In the film, she is the one to host the family reunion and give the other history of their family.

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