Taraji P. Henson - African American Actress, Timeline and Family

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Taraji P. Henson's Personal Details

Taraji Penda Henson is an African-American actress and singer

InformationDetail
BirthdaySeptember 11, 1970
NationalityAmerican
FamousAfrican American Actress, African Americans, Black Actresses, Howard University, Film & Theater Personalities, Actresses, Singers
Known asTaraji Penda Henson
Childrens Marcel Henson
Universities
  • Howard University
  • Howard University
  • North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  • Oxon Hill High School
Notable Alumnis
  • Howard University
Birth PlaceWashington, D.C.
Height165cm
GenderFemale
FatherBoris Henson
MotherBernice Gordon
Net Worth$16 million as of Mar 22,2017
Sun SignVirgo
Born inWashington, D.C.
Famous asActress, Singer

// Famous Actresses

Taraji P. Henson's photo

Who is Taraji P. Henson?

Taraji Penda Henson is an African-American actress and singer. A Howard University student, her professional career began as Mo'Nique in television show ‘Smart Guy’. After several television shows and a couple of movies she landed up with her breakthrough film, ‘Baby Boy’ that earned her the ‘Bet Awards’ and the ‘Black Movie Awards’. Her acting prowess continued with films like ‘Hustle and Flow’, ‘Four Brothers’ and ‘Talk to Me’ that earned her nominations in several award programs. She was nominated for the ‘Oscars’ as ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for essaying the character of Queenie in ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’. She was also a part of movies like ‘Date Night’, ‘The Karate Kid’, ‘Think Like a Man’ and its sequel ‘Think Like a Man Too’. Taraji Penda Henson got a nomination in the category of ‘Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie’ at the ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ for playing the lead in ‘Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story’. She has balanced her career in television along with her big screen stints. Some of her television series include ‘The Division’, ‘Boston Legal’ and ‘Person of Interest’.

// Famous Film & Theater Personalities

Childhood & Early Life

Taraji P. Henson was born on September 11, 1970, in Washington, D.C. in the family of Boris Lawrence Henson and Bernice Gordon. In Swahili language her first name ‘Taraji’ means hope and her middle name ‘Penda’ means love.

Her father was a metal fabricator and mother was a corporate manager. Her parents parted ways when she was just two. She is related to the late explorer Matthew Henson.

She wanted to study at the ‘Duke Ellington School for the Arts’ at Washington but was unsuccessful. Following the setback she joined the ‘Oxon Hill High School’ and completed her graduation in 1988.

She took up electrical engineering at the ‘North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’. Following her failure in pre-calculus, she took a transfer at the ‘Howard University’ to pursue theatre.

To support her education she simultaneously took up two jobs in shifts. While she served at ‘The Pentagon’ as a secretary in the morning, she worked at the ‘Spirit of Washington, as a cruise-ship entertainer in the evenings.

She earned a ‘Triple Threat Scholarship’ at the ‘Howard University’. In 1995, she received her bachelor’s degree in fine arts.

Career

In 1997, she made her acting debut with the television show ‘Smart Guy’. Some of her early television works include series like ‘ER’ (1998), ‘Sister, Sister’ (1999), ‘Division’ (2002-2004), ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2006) and ‘Boston Legal’ (2007-2008). Her first television movie was ‘Murder She Wrote: The Last Free Man’ (2001).

The first couple of film releases of Taraji P. Henson include ‘The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle’ and ‘Satan's School for Girls’ in 2000.

In 2001, she landed up with her breakthrough film, ‘Baby Boy’, a comedy drama that earned her the ‘Best Actress’ and ‘Best Supporting Actress’ at the ‘Bet Awards’. She also received the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ award at the ‘Black Movie Awards’.

Moving on in 2005 she played Shug, a prostitute in the ‘Oscar winning independent film ‘Hustle & Flow’. She also lent her voice for the film’s song ‘It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp’. She got nominated for her role in the ‘NAACP Image Awards’, ‘MTV Movie Awards’, ‘Screen Actors Guild Awards’ and also by the ‘Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association’. The film raised her bar as an actress in the entertainment industry.

Her steady progression in films continued with playing main parts in films like ‘Smokin' Aces’ and ‘Talk to Me’ in 2007.

She was nominated at the ‘Oscars’ as well as at the ‘Screen Actors Guild’ among various other nominations for essaying the character of Queenie in the 2008 film ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’. She was cast opposite Brad Pitt in the film that won her three awards which include ‘Austin Film Critics Association’, ‘BET Awards’ and ‘NAACP Image Awards’.

She portrayed her acting skills as a character artist in films like The Family That Preys (2008), I Can Do Bad All By Myself (2009), Date Night (2010) and ‘The Karate Kid’ (2010).

In 2011, she played the character of a real life woman Tiffany Rubin in the film ‘Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story’. She not only received positive reviews but also won the ‘BET Awards’, ‘NAACP Image Awards’ and ‘Black Reel Awards’ for her outstanding performance apart from several nominations including the ‘Primetime Emmy Award’.

She essayed the character of Detective Jocelyn "Joss" Carter in ‘Person of Interest’, a crime-suspense television series aired on the ‘CBS’. She was part of the series for two and a half years from 2011 to 2013.

She played Lauren Harris in the 2012 film ‘Think Like a Man’ that included a comprehensive ensemble cast and also in its 2014 sequel, ‘Think Like a Man Too’.

She remained consistently successful in the wide range of characterisations in different films that reflects her flexibility as an actress. In 2014 she played Terri Granger in the film ‘No Good Deed’ and earned the ‘BET Awards’, ‘Critics' Choice Television Awards’ and two ‘NAACP Image Awards’.

From January 7, 2015 till present day she essays the main role as Cookie Lyon in the new television musical drama series ‘Empire’. The series has become a commercial success and earned her a ‘Critics' Choice Television Award’ in the section of ‘Best Actress in a Drama Series’. While it received positive reviews, her work won her critical acclaim and widespread popularity apart from a nomination for ‘Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series’ in the July 2015 ‘Primetime Emmy Award’.

In 2015, she hosted one episode of ‘Saturday Night Live’ and on March 16, 2015 she co-hosted the show ‘Live! with Kelly and Michael’ in the absence of Kelly Ripa.

Apart from doing films and television she also appeared in many music videos including ‘Testify’ and ‘Stay’.

Personal Life & Legacy

She became pregnant during her college and gave birth to her son Marcell in 1994. The father of her son was his high-school sweetheart.

Her matrilineal lineage has been traced to the Masa people of Cameroon.

Humanitarian Works

She is an advocate of the cause of ‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA). She has done a couple of ads for ‘PETA’ including posing nude for the campaign ‘I'd Rather Be Naked Than Wear Fur’ in January 2011 and accompanying her dog Uncle Willie for the campaign ‘Be an Angel for Animals’ in 2013.

She was part of the ‘NOH8 Campaign’ ad in February 2015 that supports same sex marriage.

// Famous Black Actresses

Taraji P. Henson awards

YearNameAward

Golden Globe Awards

2016Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - DramaEmpire (2015)

MTV Movie & TV Awards

2017Best HeroHidden Figures (2016)

Taraji P. Henson biography timelines

  • // 11th Sep 1970
    Taraji P. Henson was born on September 11, 1970, in Washington, D.C. in the family of Boris Lawrence Henson and Bernice Gordon. In Swahili language her first name ‘Taraji’ means hope and her middle name ‘Penda’ means love.
  • // 1988
    She wanted to study at the ‘Duke Ellington School for the Arts’ at Washington but was unsuccessful. Following the setback she joined the ‘Oxon Hill High School’ and completed her graduation in 1988.
  • // 1994
    She became pregnant during her college and gave birth to her son Marcell in 1994. The father of her son was his high-school sweetheart.
  • // 1995
    She earned a ‘Triple Threat Scholarship’ at the ‘Howard University’. In 1995, she received her bachelor’s degree in fine arts.
  • // 2000
    The first couple of film releases of Taraji P. Henson include ‘The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle’ and ‘Satan's School for Girls’ in 2000.
  • // 2001
    In 2001, she landed up with her breakthrough film, ‘Baby Boy’, a comedy drama that earned her the ‘Best Actress’ and ‘Best Supporting Actress’ at the ‘Bet Awards’. She also received the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ award at the ‘Black Movie Awards’.
  • // 2005
    Moving on in 2005 she played Shug, a prostitute in the ‘Oscar winning independent film ‘Hustle & Flow’. She also lent her voice for the film’s song ‘It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp’. She got nominated for her role in the ‘NAACP Image Awards’, ‘MTV Movie Awards’, ‘Screen Actors Guild Awards’ and also by the ‘Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association’. The film raised her bar as an actress in the entertainment industry.
  • // 2007
    Her steady progression in films continued with playing main parts in films like ‘Smokin' Aces’ and ‘Talk to Me’ in 2007.
  • // 2008
    She was nominated at the ‘Oscars’ as well as at the ‘Screen Actors Guild’ among various other nominations for essaying the character of Queenie in the 2008 film ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’. She was cast opposite Brad Pitt in the film that won her three awards which include ‘Austin Film Critics Association’, ‘BET Awards’ and ‘NAACP Image Awards’.
  • // 2011
    In 2011, she played the character of a real life woman Tiffany Rubin in the film ‘Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story’. She not only received positive reviews but also won the ‘BET Awards’, ‘NAACP Image Awards’ and ‘Black Reel Awards’ for her outstanding performance apart from several nominations including the ‘Primetime Emmy Award’.
  • // 2011 To 2013
    She essayed the character of Detective Jocelyn "Joss" Carter in ‘Person of Interest’, a crime-suspense television series aired on the ‘CBS’. She was part of the series for two and a half years from 2011 to 2013.
  • // Jan 2011 To 2013
    She is an advocate of the cause of ‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA). She has done a couple of ads for ‘PETA’ including posing nude for the campaign ‘I'd Rather Be Naked Than Wear Fur’ in January 2011 and accompanying her dog Uncle Willie for the campaign ‘Be an Angel for Animals’ in 2013.
  • // 2012 To 2014
    She played Lauren Harris in the 2012 film ‘Think Like a Man’ that included a comprehensive ensemble cast and also in its 2014 sequel, ‘Think Like a Man Too’.
  • // 2014
    She remained consistently successful in the wide range of characterisations in different films that reflects her flexibility as an actress. In 2014 she played Terri Granger in the film ‘No Good Deed’ and earned the ‘BET Awards’, ‘Critics' Choice Television Awards’ and two ‘NAACP Image Awards’.
  • // Feb 2015
    She was part of the ‘NOH8 Campaign’ ad in February 2015 that supports same sex marriage.
  • // 16th Mar 2015
    In 2015, she hosted one episode of ‘Saturday Night Live’ and on March 16, 2015 she co-hosted the show ‘Live! with Kelly and Michael’ in the absence of Kelly Ripa.
  • // 7th Jul 2015
    From January 7, 2015 till present day she essays the main role as Cookie Lyon in the new television musical drama series ‘Empire’. The series has become a commercial success and earned her a ‘Critics' Choice Television Award’ in the section of ‘Best Actress in a Drama Series’. While it received positive reviews, her work won her critical acclaim and widespread popularity apart from a nomination for ‘Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series’ in the July 2015 ‘Primetime Emmy Award’.

// Famous African Americans

Taraji P. Henson's FAQ

  • What is Taraji P. Henson birthday?

    Taraji P. Henson was born at 1970-09-11

  • Where is Taraji P. Henson's birth place?

    Taraji P. Henson was born in Washington, D.C.

  • What is Taraji P. Henson nationalities?

    Taraji P. Henson's nationalities is American

  • Who is Taraji P. Henson childrens?

    Taraji P. Henson's childrens is Marcel Henson

  • What was Taraji P. Henson universities?

    Taraji P. Henson studied at Howard University, Howard University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Oxon Hill High School

  • What was Taraji P. Henson notable alumnis?

    Taraji P. Henson's notable alumnis is Howard University

  • How tall is Taraji P. Henson?

    Taraji P. Henson's height is 165

  • Who is Taraji P. Henson's father?

    Taraji P. Henson's father is Boris Henson

  • Who is Taraji P. Henson's mother?

    Taraji P. Henson's mother is Bernice Gordon

  • What is Taraji P. Henson's sun sign?

    Taraji P. Henson is Virgo

  • How famous is Taraji P. Henson?

    Taraji P. Henson is famouse as Actress, Singer