Taraji P. Henson

Taraji Penda Henson[1][2] (/təˈrɑːi/ 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). She played a prostitute in Hustle & Flow (2005) and a single mother of a disabled child in David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2010, she appeared in the action comedy Date Night and the drama The Karate Kid, and in 2016, she starred as mathematician Katherine Johnson in the critically acclaimed drama Hidden Figures.[3]

Taraji P. Henson
Henson in 2016
Taraji Penda Henson

(1970-09-11) September 11, 1970 (age 52)
EducationNorth Carolina A&T State University
Howard University (BFA)
  • Actress
Years active1992–present
AwardsFull list

Henson has also had an extensive career in television. She starred in the Lifetime television film Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story (2011), which earned her a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.[4] From 2011 to 2013, she co-starred as Detective Jocelyn Carter in the CBS drama Person of Interest. From 2015 to 2020, she starred as Cookie Lyon in the Fox drama series Empire, for which she became the first African-American woman to win the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series. She also won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards in 2015 and 2016.

In 2016, Time named Henson one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Later that year, she released a New York Times best selling autobiography titled Around the Way Girl.[5]

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