Taraji P. Henson Bio, Wiki, Age, Actress, Son, Husband, Empire, The Colour Purple[2023], Hidden Figures Net worth, Films, and Twitter

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Taraji P. Henson  Profile

Taraji P. Henson is an American actress. She has received several accolades, including a Golden Globe Award as well as nominations for an Academy Award, Henson gained recognition for playing Empire, Hidden Figures, and roles in films like Think Like a Man and The Colour Purple.

Taraji P. Henson Age

She is 53 years of age as of 2023. Henson was born on 11 September 1970 in Washington, D.C., in the United States of America. She celebrates her birthday on September 11 every year.

Taraji P. Henson Height

She stands at an average height of 5 feet 4 inches tall.

Taraji P. Henson Education

Henson completed her high school education at Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland, in the year 1988. Initially inclined towards STEM, she embarked on her academic journey at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, aiming for a degree in electrical engineering.

However, encountering difficulty in a math class prompted her to make a shift in her academic path. Subsequently, Henson transferred to Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she transitioned her focus to theater. In 1995, she successfully graduated from Howard University with a degree in theater.

This decision marked a significant turning point in her life, providing the groundwork and self-assurance necessary for her to pursue a successful acting career. Today, her accomplishments and recognition in the entertainment industry are well-known.

Taraji P Henson
Taraji P Henson

Taraji P Henson Ethnicity

Henson identifies as African-American, and her ancestral roots have been traced to the Masa people of Cameroon through her matrilineal lineage. This connection was verified through a mitochondrial DNA analysis. Additionally, she has shared that Matthew Henson, known for his exploration of the North Pole, holds a familial link as “the brother of [her] great-great-grandfather.”

Taraji P. Henson Family

Taraji’s mother, Bernice, held a position as a corporate manager at Woodward & Lothrop, a department store chain. Described as a resilient and supportive figure in Taraji’s life, Bernice played a significant role in shaping her daughter’s journey.

On the other hand, Taraji’s father, Boris Lawrence Henson, worked as a metal fabricator and janitor. Despite facing challenges such as periods of unemployment, he provided Taraji with love and support, leaving a lasting impact on her.

While Taraji has half-siblings, she has chosen to keep details about them private. She has mentioned having a brother and sister through her father, but specific information about their lives has not been publicly disclosed.

Taraji P. Henson Twin Sister

While Henson does not have a twin sister, she has affectionately referred to two individuals as her “sister from another mister” throughout her career. One of these close connections is with actress and singer Mary J. Blige. Their friendship has spanned many years, marked by numerous collaborations on various projects.

In 2020, Henson shared a photo of them on Facebook, expressing their deep bond with the caption “Me and my SISTER FROM ANOTHER MISTER for @tmagazine. I love you Queen @therealmaryjblige FOR LIFE!!!”Another significant connection is with actress Tamara Mowry. Both successful actresses, Henson and Mowry have known each other since their teenage years.

In 2017, Henson posted a photo of them together on Instagram, declaring their enduring friendship with the caption “Sis from another mama @tamaramowrytwo you my girl for life! Love you boo boo!!”

Taraji P. Henson Husband

As of now, Henson is not married. Her previous engagement was with former NFL player Kelvin Hayden, but unfortunately, they decided to call off their engagement in 2020.

Taraji P Henson and William LaMarr Johnson

Henson’s relationship with William LaMarr Johnson was intricate and marked by challenges. The two met during Henson’s time at Howard University and developed a romantic connection. In 1994, they became parents to their son, Marcell.

Unfortunately, their relationship faced hardships, including incidents of physical abuse, as Henson candidly shared in her memoir. Eventually, they went their separate ways, and tragically, Johnson lost his life in 2003. His death resulted from a confrontation with his neighbors, marking a sorrowful end to their complex relationship.

Taraji P. Henson Children

Henson is the mother of one son, Marcell Johnson, born on May 10, 1994, from her relationship with her high school sweetheart, William LaMarr Johnson. Tragically, William was murdered in 2003 when Marcell was only nine years old. Despite this loss, Marcell has chosen to follow in his mother’s footsteps and has embarked on a career in acting.

Taraji P. Henson Son

Henson is the mother of a son named Marcell Johnson, born on May 10, 1994, stemming from her relationship with her high school sweetheart, William LaMarr Johnson. Unfortunately, tragedy struck when William was murdered in 2003, leaving Marcell bereft at the tender age of nine. Despite this profound loss, Marcell has decided to tread the path of his mother and has begun a journey in the field of acting.

Taraji P. Henson Career

Henson’s career is a compelling journey from humble beginnings to extraordinary success, marked by versatility, critical acclaim, and groundbreaking representation. Following her graduation from Howard University, she started with guest roles in various TV shows such as “Sister, Sister” and “The Steve Harvey Show.”

The breakthrough moment came in 2001 with her impactful performance in the film “Baby Boy,” portraying a single mother grappling with the challenges of raising her son. This paved the way for Henson to take on diverse roles in projects like the acclaimed musical drama “Hustle & Flow” (2005) and the Oscar-nominated “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008).

Achieving household recognition, she became iconic as Cookie Lyon in the musical drama series “Empire” (2015-2020). Her portrayal earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and two Primetime Emmy nominations. Beyond “Empire,” Henson continued to shine on television, featuring in shows like “Person of Interest” (2011-2013) and securing an Emmy nomination for her guest appearance in “Abbott Elementary” (2023).

Her cinematic presence extends to films like the inspirational “Hidden Figures” (2016), the comedic “What Men Want” (2019), and the historical drama “The Color Purple” (2023). Venturing into producing, she serves as an executive producer on projects like “Queen Of Club” and the upcoming “Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project.

“Beyond her contributions to the entertainment industry, Henson is a vocal advocate for mental health awareness. She utilizes her platform to empower women and raise awareness about various social issues. Her talent, charisma, and unwavering dedication have firmly established her as one of the most respected and admired actresses of her generation.

Taraji P. Henson Movies and TV Shows


  1. What Men Want (2019): Henson showed her comedic chops playing Ali Davis, a woman who gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts.
  2. Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022): Henson voiced the charismatic villainess Belle Bottom in this animated prequel to the Despicable Me franchise.
  3. PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie (2023): She lent her voice to Victoria Vance, the tech-savvy grandmother of the pups in this animated adventure.
  4. The Color Purple (2023): She embraced the iconic role of Shug Avery in this recent adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

Tv Shows

  1. “Empire” (2015-2020): This musical drama catapulted Henson to mega-stardom as the fierce and flamboyant Cookie Lyon, earning her a Golden Globe Award and two Primetime Emmy nominations.
  2. “Person of Interest” (2011-2013): Henson co-starred as the resourceful detective Joss Carter in this neo-noir crime drama, showcasing her action chops and dramatic depth.
  3. “Abbott Elementary” (2023): She delivered a hilarious and Emmy-nominated guest appearance as the no-nonsense assistant principal Ava Coleman in this mockumentary sitcom.
  4. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (2017): She guest-starred as herself in a hilarious and meta episode, showcasing her comedic timing and willingness to poke fun at herself.
  5. “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” (2007): Henson appeared in a recurring role as Lola, adding comedic flair to this popular family sitcom.

Taraji P. Henson Tyler Perry Movies

Henson has never made an appearance in any of Tyler Perry’s movies. Instead, her main association with him is through his stage plays, where she has been actively involved in numerous productions. Significantly, Henson took on the lead role of Brenda in Tyler Perry’s play “Cry Me a River,” a production later adapted into Perry’s 2002 film of the same name.

It’s worth noting that Henson did not secure a role in the film adaptation. Additionally, she participated in other Tyler Perry plays, such as “The Marriage Counselor” and “What Did I Do Wrong?”

Taraji P. Henson Films

  1. Dramatic Powerhouse: If you enjoyed Henson’s roles in “The Best of Enemies” and “Hidden Figures,” consider exploring other impactful dramas like “Proud Mary” (2018) where she plays a skilled assassin seeking redemption, or “No Good Deed” (2014) where she portrays a woman trapped in a terrifying home invasion.
  2. Genre Versatility: If you like her comedic side showcased in “What Men Want” and “Think Like a Man,” check out “Acrimony” (2018) for a darkly humorous revenge thriller, or “Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself” (2009) for a hilarious portrayal of a woman determined to get her ex back.
  3. Animation and Voice Acting: For more of Henson’s vocal talents, look beyond “Minions” and discover her work in “Ralph Breaks the Internet” (2018) as the sassy algorithm Yesss, or in the animated series “Tuca & Bertie” (2019-present) where she voices the insightful bird Terry.

Taraji P. Henson Net Worth

Throughout her career as an actress, Taraji P. Henson has managed to amass a net worth estimated to be between $12 million and $15 million.

Taraji P. Henson Hair Products/Hair Care

Henson has introduced her line of hair products under the brand TPH by Taraji. This range aims to empower and celebrate women as they explore different looks while addressing genuine hair concerns. TPH by Taraji products offers nourishing, protective, and deep-cleansing solutions designed for various hairstyles, textures, and types.

Taraji P. Henson Name Meaning

The name Taraji, meaning “hope” in Swahili, beautifully captures her optimistic spirit and resilience. It symbolizes the hope she brought into her own life and career, conquering challenges and attaining success. Penda, representing “love” in Swahili, speaks to her nurturing nature and unwavering commitment to family and community. It also mirrors the love she dedicates to her craft and her fans.

Together, Taraji Penda Henson translates to “Hope Love Henson,” a profound reflection of the woman she is. This combination encapsulates her aspirations, values, and the love she exudes both on and off the screen.

Taraji P. Henson Empire

Henson’s portrayal of Cookie Lyon in the musical drama “Empire” was nothing short of iconic and career-defining.  Cookie was a force of nature, a larger-than-life character with raw power, unapologetic ambition, and fierce maternal love. Henson embodied her essence flawlessly, injecting humor, vulnerability, and undeniable magnetism into every scene.

Taraji P. Henson What Men Want

In the 2019 remake of “What Men Want,” Taraji P. Henson shines as Ali Davis, a sports agent struggling to break through in a male-dominated field.  Ali is talented and ambitious, but constantly overlooked by her male colleagues. She struggles to get recognized for her abilities and feels pressure to conform to the masculine world of sports agents.

Taraji P. Henson Proud Mary

Henson’s role in the 2018 action thriller “Proud Mary” marked a significant shift in her career, showcasing her badass action-hero persona and dramatic depth. Mary is a skilled assassin working for a Boston mob family. She’s efficient, cold, and feared, living a solitary life shrouded in violence and secrecy.

Taraji P. Henson Think Like A Man

Henson shines as Lauren, a successful career woman navigates the complexities of love and dating. Lauren is a no-nonsense lawyer who values her career and independence. She’s confident and outspoken, unafraid to express her opinions and desires.

Taraji P. Henson The Colour Purple[2023]

In the film, Henson takes on the role of Shug Avery, a charismatic and self-assured blues singer with a striking presence. Shug’s confidence serves as an inspiration for Celie, portrayed by Fantasia Barrino-Taylor, who is undergoing abuse. Through Shug’s influence, Celie discovers her voice, leading to a powerful and transformative moment between the two women.

Taraji P. Henson Hidden Figures

Henson took on a prominent role in the 2016 biographical drama film “Hidden Figures,” which depicts the true story of a group of African-American women mathematicians pivotal to NASA’s early space missions. Her character, Katherine Johnson, showcased the brilliant mathematician’s crucial role in calculating the trajectory for John Glenn’s historic orbital mission in 1962.

Henson’s performance garnered widespread acclaim, earning her a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actress. “Hidden Figures” achieved both critical and commercial success, grossing over $230 million worldwide.

Taraji P. Henson Awards and Nominations


  1. Golden Globe Award: Won 1 for Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama for “Empire” (2015)
  2. Primetime Emmy Award: Nominated 3 times for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for “Empire” (2015, 2016, 2017)
  3. Academy Award: Nominated 1 time for Best Supporting Actress for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2009)
  4. Screen Actors Guild Award: Won 1 for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for “Hidden Figures” (2017)
  5. Critics’ Choice Movie Award: Won 1 for Best Actress in a Drama Series for “Empire” (2015)


  1. BET Awards: Won 5
  2. NAACP Image Awards: Won 6
  3. Black Reel Awards: Won 5
  4. Satellite Awards: Nominated 3
  5. Saturn Awards: Nominated 1
  6. Teen Choice Awards: Nominated 3

Taraji P. Henson Social Media Platforms

Henson is very active on her Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages. She has 5.3M followers on Twitter, 21.6M followers on Instagram, and 11M followers on Facebook.



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