Taraji Penda Henson (/ t ə ˈ r ɑː dʒ i / tə-RAH-jee; born September 11, 1970) is an American actress.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).
Taraji P. Henson, Actress: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Taraji P. Henson was born on September 11, 1970 in Washington D.C., USA as Taraji Penda Henson. She is an actress and producer, known for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Hidden Figures (2016) and Hustle & Flow (2005).
Taraji P. Henson was born on September 11, 1970 in Washington D.C., USA as Taraji Penda Henson. She is an actress and producer, known for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Hidden Figures (2016) and Hustle & Flow (2005).
- Taraji Penda Henson
- 5' 4" (1.63 m)
- Who Is Taraji P. Henson?
- Early Life
- Movies and TV Shows
- Personal Life
Taraji P. Henson landed her first professional acting gig on Smart Guy. In 2001, she got her big break in the film Baby Boy. Her performance led to the role of Shug in Hustle and Flow and in 2008 she earned an Oscar nomination for her part in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Henson went on to appear in such films as Think Like a Man (2012) and also starred in the television drama Person of Interest from 2011 to 2013. In 2015 Henson took on the role of Cookie Lyon in the hit series Empire, earning a Golden Globe for the part. Her later films include the critically acclaimed Hidden Figures (2016) and What Men Want(2019).
Actress Taraji P. Henson was born to a working-class family in Washington, D.C., on September 11, 1970. When Henson was two years old, her parents divorced. Henson has described both of her parents as loving and attentive. She has pointed to her father, Boris — a metal fabricator who was forced to live in his van after being laid off — as a main source of moral support during her upbringing. As a teenager, Henson applied to a performing arts high school but didn't get in. Instead, she attended Oxon Hill High School, graduating in 1988. Henson spent her first year in college studying electrical engineering at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. After failing pre-calculus, she transferred to Howard University, where she studied theater. At the same time, Henson was working two jobs — one as a secretary at the Pentagon and another as a cruise-ship entertainer. At Howard, she honed her singing, dancing and acting skills, proudly earning herself a "Triple Threat Sch...
'Smart Guy,' 'Sister, Sister'
In 1996 Henson and her son moved to Los Angeles so she could pursue a professional acting career. She had just $700 in her bank account at the time. After two years of auditioning while also working an office job to make ends meet, Henson landed her first professional acting gig, a recurring role on the television show Smart Guy. The role led to a part on the sitcom Sister, Sister, starring teen twins Tia and Tamera Mowry. Early in her career, Henson also made appearances on TV's Homicide: Li...
'Baby Boy,' 'Hustle and Flow'
In 2001 Henson got her big break with a starring role in John Singleton's film Baby Boy. Her performance led to another major role, as Shug in the 2004 movie Hustle and Flow. In addition to acting in Hustle and Flow, Henson sang "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" on the film's soundtrack. The track won a 2004 Academy Award for Best Song, with Henson performing at the telecast.
'Benjamin Button' and Oscar Nod
Henson went on to land main parts in Smokin' Aces and Talk to Me. A challenging role as the adoptive mother to Brad Pitt's titular character in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button(2008) highlighted Henson's flexibility and range as an actress, earning her both Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award nominations. Increasing her work as a character actress, Henson landed roles in Tyler Perry movies like The Family That Preys (2008) and I Can Do Bad All by Myself (2009). She then appeared in the 2...
When Henson was in her junior year of college, she found out she was pregnant. Not only was she determined to keep her baby, but Henson refused to miss a beat when it came to her performance schedule. She asked her theater professors not to treat her any differently. "Don't you bench me because I'm pregnant," she insisted, and her teachers complied. Early in her pregnancy, Henson performed in a Greek tragedy. During her second trimester, she sang and danced in "Dreamgirls." After she had her son, Marcell, Henson kept up her classroom attendance and performances — with her baby in tow. In 1995 she achieved her goal of graduating from Howard University with a degree in theater. On May 13, 2018, Henson got engaged to her boyfriend of two years, former Super Bowl star Kelvin Hayden. "I said yes y’all!!!" she posted on Instagram. In October 2020, Henson confirmed the pair ended their engagement.
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