Taraji P Henson Biography
Taraji P Henson is an American Actress and TV Personality well-known for starring in several movies and TV shows such as FOX’s series “Empire”. Some of the other shows/films include “Baby Boy”, “Hustle & Flow”, “The Karate Kid”, “Date Night”, “Hidden Figures”, and “Person of Interest”.
Taraji P Henson Age
Henson was born on September 11, 1970, in Washington, D.C., in the United States. She is therefore 52 years old as of 2023. She celebrates her birthday on the 29th of May every year.
Taraji P Henson Height
Henson stands at an approximate height of 5 feet and 4 inches.
Taraji P Henson Family
Henson was born to her lovely spouse, Boris Lawrence Henson (father) and Bernice Gordon (mother). Her dad works as a metal fabricator and janitor, whereas her mom works for Woodward & Lothrop as a corporate manager. She grew up alongside her sister, April MzCockee Henson. April works as a community manager, mental health advocate, and entrepreneur. Some people speculate Henson and her sister April are twins. However, they haven’t confirmed it yet.
Breaking down further to her family roots, she frequently shares about the impact of her maternal grandmother, Patsy Ballard, who joined her at the Academy Awards during the year she received a nomination. Her given names, Taraji (“hope”) and Penda (“love”) have Swahili roots. Through mitochondrial DNA analysis, her ancestral line has been traced back to the Masa people of Cameroon. Notably, she has also mentioned that North Pole explorer Matthew Henson holds a connection as the bro to her great-great-grandfather.
Taraji P Henson Husband
Henson is very private about her personal life therefore it is unknown if she is in any relationship. There are also no rumors of Henson being in any past relationship with anyone.
Taraji P Henson Engagement
Henson has been in an engagement with Kelvin Hayden, a former NFL player. They had their engagement on May 13, 2018. In an episode of The Breakfast Club on October 19, 2020, Henson confirmed that they finalized their engagement. The reason for their separation is unknown.
Taraji P Henson Late Husband
Henson was once married to William LaMarr Johnson. He was her sweetheart in high school. William passed on in the year 2003. Henson’s Wikipedia page says that William’s cause of death was that he was murdered through stabbing.
Taraji P Henson Son | Case
Henson and her late husband, William LaMarr Johnson, were blessed with a son, Marcell. He is 24 years old as of 2023, having been born in the year 1994. In 2014, Henson recounted an incident where her son was subjected to racial profiling by the police. His car was unlawfully searched during a traffic stop in Glendale, CA.
A video, acquired by the Los Angeles Times, depicted Marcell driving through a lit crosswalk while a pedestrian was crossing, consenting verbally to a vehicle search, and acknowledging marijuana consumption two hours prior to driving. The search uncovered hashish oil and marijuana within the car. Within 40 minutes of the video’s release, Henson took to Instagram to express his apology to the officer and the Glendale Police Department, recognizing the challenges inherent in both a mother’s role and that of a police officer.
Taraji P Henson Net Worth
Henson has an estimated net worth of $25 Million which she has earned through her successful career as an Actress and TV Personality.
Taraji P Henson Education
Henson is a proud alumnus of Howard University, where he studied drama. Before joining Howard, she was at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and she did not stay there for long until she transferred. There she wanted to pursue electrical engineering. Henson is also a 1988 alumnus of Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
In order to fund her college education, she held a position as a secretary at The Pentagon during the mornings, while her evenings were for working as a dancing and singing waitress aboard the dinner-cruise vessel, known as the Spirit of Washington.
Taraji P Henson Career
Henson’s career in acting involves appearing in multiple movies and television shows. She got her SAG membership card in the early ’90s by acting in the background for three roles. She became more known for her role in the movie “Baby Boy” in the year 2001, where she played Yvette alongside Tyrese Gibson. In 2005, she acted in a movie called “Hustle & Flow” and played Shug, the love interest of Terrence Howard’s character. She sang in the movie too, and it earned nominations for Academy Awards.
She was also in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in 2008, acting with Brad Pitt. Her role got her an Oscar nomination. She acted in 2 Tyler Perry movies, “The Family That Preys” in the year 2008 and “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” in 2009. She was also in the remake of “The Karate Kid” in the year 2010. In the year 2011, she starred in a movie called “Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story.” It was based on a true story. She got praise for her acting and was nominated for an Emmy.
Henson was in the movie “Think Like a Man” in the year 2012 and its sequel in the year 2014. Two years later, Time magazine said she was one of the 100 most important people in the world. That same year, she wrote a book called “Around the Way Girl,” which became a best-seller. In 2016, Henson was in a successful movie called “Hidden Figures.” It got nominated for big awards like the Oscars and Golden Globes. It won an award from the Screen Actors Guild.
In the year 2018, she starred in 2 movies: “Tyler Perry’s Acrimony” and “Proud Mary”. In “Proud Mary,” she played a hit woman who changes after meeting a young boy. She acted as a wife who gets angry when she thinks her husband betrayed her, in “Tyler Perry’s Acrimony”. She also did the voice for a character in “Ralph Breaks the Internet.”
In the year 2019, she was in two more films. One was called “What Men Want,” where she played a woman who can hear what men are thinking. The other was “The Best of Enemies,” where she was a civil rights activist. She’s also going to be in a movie about Emmett Till, a young black teen who was hurt and killed by white men in the ’50s. Henson will play Till’s mother in the movie, and she’ll also help make the movie.
Henson has been on many TV shows. She had small roles on “Smart Guy”, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, “House”, and “Sister, Sister”. Henson was also part of some TV series like The Division and Boston Legal. She acted in Person of Interest and played a character named Joss, but her character got killed off later.
Then, in the year 2014, she got a big role on Empire, a show about the music industry. Henson played Cookie Lyon and got lots of praise for it. She won a Golden Globe award for her performance. She also made holiday shows with Terrence Howard and hosted a talk show called Peace of Mind with Taraji. Henson was going to have a spin-off show from Empire, but it got put on hold. In December 2021, she played Miss Hannigan in a TV show called Annie Live!
Taraji P Henson Awards and Honors
Henson’s contributions to TV and film have garnered her numerous commendations. In the year 2015, she secured the Critics’ Choice Television Award for her remarkable portrayal in a Drama Series (specifically for her role in Empire), becoming the inaugural black actress to achieve this distinction in the history of the awards. Further acclaim came her way with a Golden Globe victory in the same category for her outstanding performance in the series.
In addition, Henson has been recognized with nominations for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress (for her role in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), and 3 Primetime Emmy nominations (acknowledging her roles in Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story and Empire). She also holds many accolades from the Screen Actors Guild Awards (notably winning the Outstanding Motion Picture Cast award in the year 2017 for Hidden Figures).
Taraji P Henson Other Ventures
Henson worked with MAC Cosmetics to make her own makeup collection in August 2016. It’s called the Taraji P. Henson makeup collection. People started buying from it in September 2016. In November 2016, she teamed up with MAC again. This time, she and Jussie Smollett were the faces of their Viva Glam Campaign. This campaign helps raise money for people with AIDS. They made a collection of makeup, and people could start getting it in February 2017.
Henson has been in a couple of plays on stage. One was called “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” by August Wilson, and another one was at a place called the Pasadena Playhouse. She even started something called The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation. It’s named after her dad and helps with mental illness related to culture. Then, on April 1, 2022, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, chose Henson to be part of a group called the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Taraji P Henson Music Appearance
Besides acting, Henson has also appeared in a couple of music videos. In her introduction to singing, Henson showcased her vocal talents in the movie “Hustle & Flow,” lending her voice to the Three 6 Mafia track “It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp.” This garnered her the prestigious Academy Award for Best Original Song in the year 2006, marking a historic achievement as Three 6 Mafia became the first African-American hip-hop act to clinch this accolade. Demonstrating their musical prowess, Henson and the group performed the song during the live Oscar ceremony on March 5, 2006. Additionally, she contributed her vocals to “In My Daughter’s Eyes” featured in the 2006 charitable album “Unexpected Dreams – Songs From the Stars.”
Henson has shown up in a bunch of music videos and TV shows. In the year 2005, she acted in a music video for a rapper named Common. The video was called “Testify,” and she played the wife of a man who was about to be found guilty of a crime. She also appeared in another music video for Tyrese Gibson’s song “Stay.” In this one, she played the person he loves. Then, on March 16, 2015, she served as a special co-host on a TV show called “Live! with Kelly and Michael.” She was helping out because one of the regular hosts, Kelly Ripa, wasn’t there that day.
Taraji P Henson Empire
Henson is one of the cast members of FOX’s musical/drama TV series, “Empire”, which ran for about 2 years (January 7, 2015, – April 21, 2020). In the series, she portrays the role of Loretha “Cookie” Lyon, née Holloway. She acts as Lucious’ outspoken wife, and a mom to their 3 sons. Serving a 17-year prison term for involvement in drug trafficking, she perceives herself as the sacrificial victim for Empire Entertainment, a company she co-founded with Lucious.
She took the blame for his actions, even as she was responsible for funding Lucious’ early career through drug proceeds. Following her release from incarceration, she is resolute in reuniting the Lyon family and securing her rightful stake in Empire Entertainment. During the show’s second season, Cookie departs from the Empire conglomerate and establishes her independent record label, Lyon Dynasty. Subsequently, after permitting Empire Entertainment to assimilate Lyon Dynasty, she makes her return to Empire as the Head and co-CEO of A&R.
The series follows the story of Lucious Lyon (played by Terrence Howard), who is a big name in hip-hop, used to sell drugs, and is the boss of Empire Entertainment. He finds out he will die soon because of ALS, a disease. He has to pick one of his kids to take over his business when he’s gone. Lucious starts training his sons for this – his son Andre, who’s in charge of money (played by Trai Byers), his son Jamal, who sings R&B (played by Jussie Smollett), and his son Hakeem, who’s a rapper (played by Bryshere Y. Gray). While doing this, Lucious makes them compete against each other. Lucious’ ex-wife Cookie Lyon (played by Taraji P. Henson) gets out of jail after being there for 17 years. She also wants control of the company and her sons.
In the TV series “Empire”, Henson stars alongside many other cast members such as;
- Grace Byers
- Terrence Howard
- Bryshere Y. Gray
- Malik Yoba
- Jussie Smollett
- Kaitlin Doubleday
- Gabourey Sidibe
- Ta’Rhonda Jones
- Morocco Omari
Taraji P Henson Controversy
Henson is an advocate of PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He participated in an ad for the “I’d Rather Be Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign in January 2011, appearing in a state of undress. In the year 2013, she aligned herself with PETA once more, featuring in their “Be an Angel for Animals” campaign, alongside her family’s canine companion, Uncle Willie. The campaign highlighted the plight of chained dogs, emphasizing their enduring hardships and advocating for their well-being. Henson’s support extended to a “nude” photoshoot for the May edition of Allure magazine in the year 2012.
Other Facts About Taraji P Henson
Henson appeared in an advertisement in February 2015, endorsing the NOH8 Campaign, which advocates for the LGBT community. Transitioning to a vegan diet took place in the latter part of 2017. Henson identifies as a Christian and perceives the act of acting as a deeply spiritual encounter.
Taraji P Henson Hair Line
Henson owns a hairline/ called TPH by Taraji, where she sells hair products that provide nourishment, thorough cleansing, and protection, for all hair textures, styles, and types. Henson says that her line focus on the scalp ensures a healthy hair environment, regardless of the chosen style.
Click here to view more information about the hairline.
Taraji P Henson Movies and TV Shows
Henson has appeared in many television shows such as;
- Abbott Elementary
- That’s My Jam
- RuPaul’s Drag Race
- Project Runway
- Annie Live!
- Muppets Haunted Mansion
- Nickelodeon’s Unfiltered
- Tuca & Bertie
- The Simpsons
- Time Alone
- The Color Purple
- Minions: The Rise of Gru
- Coffee & Kareem
- Mary J. Blige’s My Life
- Ralph Breaks the Internet
- Proud Mary
- No Good Deed
- The Karate Kid
Taraji P Henson Social Media Platforms
She is active on her social media accounts and often posts on her Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. She has over 21.1M followers on Instagram.
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