Taraji P Henson- Biography of American Actress

Taraji P Henson- Biography of American Actress

Taraji Penda Henson is an American actor. She was born on September 11, 1970, She went to Howard University to study acting, and she started her career in Hollywood by appearing as a guest on several TV shows. Her big break came with the 2001 movie Baby Boy. She played a prostitute in Hustle & Flow (2005) and a single mother of a crippled child in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2010, she was in the action comedy Date Night and the drama The Karate Kid. In 2016, she played mathematician Katherine Johnson in the highly acclaimed drama Hidden Figures.

Henson has also worked in television for a long time. She played the lead role in the 2011 Lifetime movie Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story, which won her a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. She shared the role of Detective Jocelyn Carter on the CBS show Person of Interest from 2011 to 2013. She played Cookie Lyon on the Fox drama series Empire from 2015 to 2020. For this role, she won the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series, making her the first African-American woman to do so. In 2015 and 2016, she was also nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards and won a Golden Globe Award.

Henson was named one of the 100 most important people in the world by Time in 2016. Later that year, she wrote an autobiography called Around the Way Girl, which became a New York Times best seller.

Educational Journey

Henson, Taraji Penda[4] was born on September 11, 1970, in Southeast Washington, D.C. She is the daughter of Bernice (née Gordon), a corporate manager at Woodward & Lothrop, and Boris Lawrence Henson, a janitor and metal fabricator. She has talked a lot about how her maternal grandma, Patsy Ballard, influenced her. Patsy Ballard went with her to the Oscars the year she was nominated. Her first and given names, Taraji (“hope”) and Penda (“love”), come from the Swahili language. A study of her mitochondrial DNA shows that she is related to the Masa people of Cameroon through her mother. She has said that Matthew Henson, who went to the North Pole, was “the brother of my great-great-grandfather.”

Henson was in two Tyler Perry movies: 2008’s “The Family That Preys” and 2009’s “I Can Do Bad All by Myself.” In 2010, she was in a new version of The Karate Kid with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. Even though the reviews weren’t great, the movie did well at the box office.

Career Life In The Movie Industry

In the 2011 Lifetime Movie Network movie Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story, Henson played the role of Tiffany Rubin. It was based on real events in the life of a woman from New York whose son, Kobe, was taken to South Korea by his real father. She was nominated for several awards, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie, because of how she played Rubin.

Henson was in the 2012 movie Think Like a Man, which was based on Steve Harvey’s 2009 book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man and had a big cast. She played the same part in Think Like a Man Too, which came out in June 2014.

In 2016, Henson was in the biographical drama film Hidden Figures. It was a big hit at the box office and was nominated for many awards, including three Oscars (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 got an award for “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture” from the Screen Actors Guild.

Hidden Figure and Beyond [2015 present]

In January 2018, she played a hit woman in the thriller-drama Proud Mary, which was made by Sony Screen Gems. Her life changes when she meets a young boy who makes her feel like a mother, which she didn’t know she had.[26] In March, she played a loyal wife in Tyler Perry’s movie Acrimony. When she gets tired of sticking by her husband, she gets angry when she thinks she’s been betrayed. In November, she gave Yesss a voice in Ralph Breaks the Internet, which is a sequel to Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph.

In the 2019 movie What Men Want, based on the 2000 Mel Gibson love comedy What Women Want[29], Henson played a female sports agent who gets the power to hear what men are thinking. In April 2019, she played Ann Atwater, a civil rights activist, on the big screen in the historical thriller The Best of Enemies.

Henson is also set to act in and make The Emmett Till Story, a movie about Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy from Chicago who was taken by two white men in rural Mississippi in 1955, tortured, killed, and dumped in a river. She will play Mamie, Till’s mother.

Television Career

Henson has been a guest star on a number of TV shows, such as Smart Guy on The WB, House on Fox in 2005, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on CBS in 2006. She was also in a Sister, Sister show.

Henson has also been on a number of TV shows, including The Division on Lifetime and Boston Legal on ABC for one season each. One of her regular roles is Angela Scott on the ABC show Eli Stone. In 2011, she got a part on the crime-thriller show Person of Interest on CBS. In the episode “The Crossing” on November 20, 2013, Henson’s character, “Joss” Carter, was killed off as part of the new plot for the show. He had been a co-star for two and a half years.

In February 2014, several months after her last episode of Person of Interest, Fox hired Henson to star in Empire, a musical drama set in the hip hop recording business, where she plays Cookie Lyon opposite her former Hustle & Flow co-star Terrence Howard. Fox bought the pilot in May 2014, and the first episode of the show aired on January 7, 2015, to good reviews and a lot of money. Henson became well-known and praised for his work in the part. She was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in July 2015, and the pilot of the show was sent to the Emmys for vote. In January 2016, she won the Golden Globe Award for Best actor in a Drama Series for her role in Empire. She was only the third African-American actor to win this award, after Gail Fisher in 1972 and Regina Taylor in 1992. She was named 2015’s Entertainer of the Year at the 46th NAACP Image Awards for her parts in Empire and No Good Deed.

In 2015, Henson and Howard worked together to make and host Taraji and Terrence’s White Hot Holidays, a Fox holiday special with a range of acts. In 2016 and 2017, the show was made again, but Howard wasn’t there.

As part of her two-year first-look deal with 20th Century Fox Television through her production business, TPH Entertainment, Henson is producing and starring in a spin-off Empire series about her character, Cookie Lyon. This news came out in July 2020. As part of the deal, the network will work on projects for various platforms. Henson said she wants to talk about a number of difficult issues while giving young, new voices a chance to be heard. FOX has since decided not to make the spin-off, so the series is currently on hold.

In December 2020, Henson started hosting the Facebook Watch talk show Peace of Mind with Taraji. Henson played Miss Hannigan in Annie Live! on NBC on December 2, 2021.

Other Job

Henson sang for the first time in the movie Hustle & Flow. She sang the Three 6 Mafia song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”In 2006, the song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, making Three 6 Mafia the first African-American hip hop group to win in that field. On March 5, 2006, Henson and the group sang the song live at the Oscars. She also sang “In My Daughter’s Eyes” on the charity record Unexpected Dreams – Songs From the Stars, which came out in 2006.

Henson has been in a number of music videos and TV shows. In 2005, she was in the music video “Testify” by the rapper Common as the wife of a soon-to-be-convicted killer. She was also in the music video “Stay” by Tyrese Gibson as his love interest. She filled in for Kelly Ripa on Live! with Kelly and Michael on March 16, 2015, as a guest co-host.

In late August 2016, Henson and MAC Cosmetics worked together to make the Taraji P. Henson makeup line. The next month, the #MACTaraji line came out. In November 2016, she worked with MAC again as a spokeswoman for their Viva Glam Campaign. She did this with Jussie Smollett to raise money for MAC’s HIV/AIDS fund. Their line came out in February of 2017.

Henson has played a few parts on stage, such as Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by August Wilson and Above the Fold by the Pasadena Playhouse. The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation was also started by her. It is called after her father and is about mental disease in different cultures.

Henson was put on the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities on April 1, 2022. This was done by President Joe Biden.

Personal Life

In 1994, Henson’s son Marcell was born. His father, William LaMarr Johnson, was Henson’s high school love. He was killed in 2003. In 2014, Henson said that her son’s car had been illegally searched by police during a traffic stop in Glendale, California. She said that her son had been singled out by police because of his race. The Los Angeles Times got a video that showed Marcell driving through a sidewalk while a person was crossing. He also said he smoked marijuana two hours before driving and gave verbal permission to search his car. Inside the car, they found hashish oil and pot. Forty minutes after the video was made public, Henson wrote on Instagram, “I would like to publicly apologize to the officer and the Glendale Police Department.” Both being a mother and being a police officer are hard jobs.

In January 2011, Henson was naked in an ad for the I’d Rather Be Naked Than Wear Fur campaign. Henson is a backer of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). She joined PETA’s “Be an Angel for Animals” campaign again in 2013 and posed with her family dog Uncle Willie. “Chained dogs suffer day in and day out,” the ad said. “It’s cold, they’re hungry, thirsty, weak, and alone. Keep them inside, where it is safe and warm.”


Henson stood naked for Allure magazine’s May 2012 issue.[71] In February 2015, Henson was in an ad for the NOH8 Campaign, which is a group that supports the LGBT population.[72] She became a vegan at the end of 2017.[73]


On May 13, 2018, Henson got engaged to Kelvin Hayden, who used to play for the NFL.[74] During the show of The Breakfast Club that aired on October 19, 2020, she said that they were no longer together.[75]


Henson is a Christian, and he thinks acting is sacred.




Henson went to high school in Oxon Hill, Maryland, and finished in 1988.[4] She went to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where she planned to study electrical engineering, before moving to Howard University to study drama.[9][11] To pay for college, she worked as a secretary in the mornings at The Pentagon and as a singing and dancing waitress on the Spirit of Washington, a dinner cruise ship.[16]


Job in movies

Early work, from 2001 to 2014

In the early 1990s, Henson got her SAG card because she had played three small parts in the background. In the 2001 comedy-drama Baby Boy, she played Yvette with singer Tyrese Gibson. This was her first major part.[17]


In 2005, Henson played Shug, the love interest of Terrence Howard’s character DJay in the independent movie Hustle & Flow. She sang for the first time in the movie, which was up for two Oscars and won one. In 2008, she was in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with Brad Pitt. In that movie, she played Benjamin’s mother, Queenie, and for that role, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.[19] In an interview with The Chicago Tribune’s Lauren Viera, she said, “Queenie is the personification of unconditional love.”


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