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Taraji P Henson

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Alma mater  Howard University
Role  Actress
Occupation  Actress, singer
Height  1.65 m
Years active  1995–present
Children  Marcel Johnson
Name  Taraji Henson

Taraji P. Henson Taraji P Henson nearly spills out of her dress as she
Full Name  Taraji Penda Henson
Born  September 11, 1970 (age 45) (1970-09-11) Washington, D.C., United States
Parents  Boris Henson, Bernice Gordon
Education  North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Oxon Hill High School, Howard University
Movies and TV shows  Empire, Person of Interest, Baby Boy, Hustle & Flow, The Karate Kid
Similar People  Terrence Howard, Jussie Smollett, Grace Gealey, Gabourey Sidibe, Bryshere Y Gray

Empire actress taraji p henson talks about being the american dream

Taraji Penda Henson ( ; born September 11, 1970) is an American actress, singer and author. She studied acting at Howard University and began her Hollywood career in guest-roles on several television shows before making her breakthrough in Baby Boy (2001). She received praise for playing a prostitute in Hustle & Flow (2005) and a single mother in David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008); for the latter, she received Academy Award, SAG Award and Critics Choice Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress; for the former, she received a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture nomination. In 2010, she appeared in the comedy Date Night and co-starred in the remake of The Karate Kid.


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Henson has also had an extensive career in television in series such as The Division, Boston Legal and Eli Stone. In 2011, Henson starred in the Lifetime Television film Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story, which earned her a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. From 2011 to 2013, she co-starred as Detective Jocelyn Carter in the CBS drama Person of Interest, for which she won an NAACP Image Award. Henson went on to star in the ensemble film Think Like a Man (2012) and its 2014 sequel. In 2015, she began starring as Cookie Lyon on the Fox drama series Empire, for which she became the first African-American woman to win a Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series. She also won a Golden Globe Award, and was nominated for two Emmy Awards, in 2015 and 2016.

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In 2016, Time named Henson one of the 100 most influential people in the world on the annual Time 100 list. That year, Henson also released a New York Times best selling autobiography titled Around the Way Girl. Also that year, she received praise for her starring role as Katherine Johnson in the critically acclaimed drama film Hidden Figures, for which she won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

Taraji P. Henson Taraji P Henson Graces The Cover Of W Magazine And

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Early life and family

Taraji P. Henson Taraji P Henson Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Taraji Penda Henson was born September 11, 1970 in Southeast Washington, D.C., the daughter of Bernice (née Gordon), a corporate manager at Woodward & Lothrop, and Boris Lawrence Henson, a janitor and metal fabricator. Henson has often spoken of the influence of her maternal grandmother, Patsy Ballard, who was her date to the Academy Awards the year she was nominated. Her first and middle names are of Swahili origin, with "Taraji" meaning hope and "Penda" meaning love. According to a mitochondrial DNA analysis, her matrilineal lineage can be traced to the Masa people of Cameroon. She has said that North Pole explorer Matthew Henson is "the brother of my great-great grandfather."


Henson graduated from Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland, in 1988. She then attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University where she studied electrical engineering before transferring to Howard University to study drama. To pay for college, she worked mornings as a secretary at The Pentagon and evenings as a singing-dancing waitress on a dinner-cruise ship, the Spirit of Washington.

Early career (2001–2014)

Henson received her SAG Card in the early 1990s for doing 3 extra roles. Her first prominent role was in the 2001 comedy drama film Baby Boy in which she portrayed Yvette, alongside singer Tyrese Gibson.

In 2005, Henson was in the independent film Hustle & Flow as Shug, the love interest of Terrence Howard, who portrayed the male lead DJay. The film was nominated for two Academy awards, winning one. In 2008, she appeared opposite Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Henson plays the role of Queenie, Benjamin's mother, in a performance that led to an Academy award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She noted in an interview that, "Queenie is the embodiment of unconditional love."

Henson was in Tyler Perry films The Family That Preys in 2008 and I Can Do Bad All By Myself in 2009. In 2010, she appeared in the remake of The Karate Kid alongside Jaden Smith. The film was a commercial success.

In 2011, she starred as Tiffany Rubin in the Lifetime Movie Network film Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story. The film was based on true events of the life of a New York woman Tiffany Rubin, whose son Kobe was abducted by his biological father to South Korea. Determined to bring her son back home, she is helped by an organization for lost children which his headed by Mark Miller, portrayed by Terry O'Quinn, and with a plan they are able bring her son back home. Henson's portrayal as Tiffany Rubin received positive reviews and earned her several award nominations, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.

In 2012, Henson was in the large ensemble cast film Think Like A Man, which was based on Steve Harvey's 2009 book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Henson reprised her role in the film's sequel Think Like a Man Too, which was released in June 2014.

Hidden Figures and beyond (2015–present)

In 2016, she starred in Hidden Figures, a film that went on to be nominated for numerous awards, including three Oscar nominations (Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer) and two Golden Globes (Best Supporting Actress for Spencer and Best Original Score). It won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

In 2018, Henson is slated to star in four films. In January 2018, Henson will star in Sony Screen Gems thriller-drama film Proud Mary, playing a hit woman whose life is turned around when she meets a young boy who wakes up the maternal instinct she never knew she had. In March 2018, she will star in the Tyler Perry-helmed film titled Tyler Perry's She's Living My Life as a faithful wife who, after growing tired of standing by her devious husband, gets enraged when it becomes clear she has been betrayed. In November 2018, Henson will voice a character by the name of Yesss in Disney's Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2. Also in 2018, Henson will star in the historical-drama The Best of Enemies, portraying civil rights activist Ann Atwater.

Television career

Henson has guest-starred on several television shows, such as the WB Television Network's Smart Guy, playing the role of Mo'Nique (1997–98); the Fox series House in 2005; and CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in 2006. She also starred on an episode of Sister, Sister.

Henson has also been a cast member on several television shows, including Lifetime Television's The Division and ABC's Boston Legal for one season. Her recurring appearances in television include the character Angela Scott on ABC's Eli Stone in December 2008. In 2011, Henson was cast in the CBS crime-suspense series Person of Interest. In the November 20, 2013, episode "The Crossing," after co-starring for two and a half years, Henson's character, Carter, was killed as part of the series' new storyline direction.

In February 2014, several months after her last episode of Person of Interest aired on CBS, Henson was hired by Fox to star in the new TV series pilot Empire, a musical drama set in the hip hop recording industry. Henson plays Cookie Lyon opposite former Hustle & Flow costar Terrence Howard. Fox ordered the pilot to series in May 2014 and the TV series debuted on January 7, 2015, with positive reviews from critics and wide commercial success. Her work as Cookie Lyon gave her widespread recognition and critical acclaim. In July 2015, Henson was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and she submitted the show's pilot for Emmy voting. In January 2016, Henson won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama for Empire becoming only the third African-American actress to take home the award after Gail Fisher (1972) and Regina Taylor (1992). At the 46th NAACP Image Awards she was named the 2015 Entertainer of the Year for her roles in Empire and No Good Deed.

In 2015 Henson teamed up with Empire co-star Terrence Howard to produce and host a variety holiday special for Fox titled Taraji and Terrence's White Hot Holidays. The special returned again in 2016 but with just Henson alone.

Other work

Henson made her singing debut in Hustle & Flow; she provided the vocals for the Three 6 Mafia track "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp." The song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2006, giving Three 6 Mafia the distinction of becoming the first African-American hip-hop act to win in that category. Henson performed the song at the live Oscar ceremony on March 5, 2006, with the group. Additionally, she performed the song "In My Daughter's Eyes" on the 2006 charity album Unexpected Dreams – Songs From the Stars.

Henson has made several appearances in music videos and television. For example, she starred in the rapper Common's music video "Testify" in 2005 as the wife of a soon to be convicted murderer. She also appeared in Tyrese Gibson's music video Stay as his love interest.

On March 16, 2015, she was a guest co-host on Live! with Kelly and Michael filling in for regular co-host Kelly Ripa.

Henson collaborated with MAC Cosmetics to launch the Taraji P. Henson makeup collection in late August 2016. The #MACTaraji collection debuted the following month. In November, 2016 Henson collaborated with MAC Cosmetics again becoming the spokesperson for their Viva Glam Campaign along with Jussie Smollett. Every cent raised goes to help the MAC HIV/AIDS fund. Their collection debuted in February, 2017.

Henson has also had a small career in theatre appearing in August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone and the Pasadena Playhouse's Above the Fold.

Personal life

In 1994, Henson became pregnant and gave birth to her son Marcell. His father, Henson's high-school sweetheart, William Lamar Johnson, was murdered in 2003.

In 2014, Henson said her son had been racially profiled by police and that his car had been illegally searched during a traffic stop that October 18 in Glendale, California. A video obtained by the Los Angeles Times showed Marcell had driven through a lighted crosswalk while a pedestrian was crossing, given verbal consent to search his vehicle, and admitted to smoking marijuana two hours before driving. Hashish oil and marijuana were found inside his car. Forty minutes after the video was made public, Henson said in an Instagram message, "I would like to publicly apologize to the officer and the Glendale Police Department. A mother's job is not easy and neither is a police officer's."

A supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Henson in January 2011 appeared nude in an ad for the I'd Rather Be Naked Than Wear Fur campaign. Henson joined PETA again for a 2013 campaign stating "Be an Angel for Animals." In the ad Henson poses with her family dog Uncle Willie. The ad highlights the issue that, "Chained dogs suffer day in and day out. They are cold, hungry, thirsty, vulnerable, and lonely. Keep them inside, where it's safe and warm."

In February 2015, Henson posed in an ad for the NOH8 Campaign, which supports the LGBT community.

Awards and nominations

In 2015, Henson won the Critics Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series (for Empire), and became the first black actor in the history of the awards show to do so.


Taraji P. Henson Wikipedia