Taraji P. Henson

Born: 11/09/1970 (52 yo)
Birth place: Washington, D.C. (USA)

Citizenship : USA

Occupation : Actress , Singer
Active Years: 1997-present


Taraji Penda Henson is an American actress and singer. She is known for her roles as Yvette in Baby Boy (2001), Shug in Hustle and Flow (2005) and Queenie in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2009. From 2011 to 2013, she co-starred in the CBS drama Person of Interest.


Henson was born in southeast Washington, D.C., the daughter of Bernice Gordon, a corporate manager at Woodward & Lothrop, and Boris Henson, a janitor and fabricator. She is a relative of the Arctic explorer, Matthew Henson, who was with the Peary expedition, thought to have been the first to reach the North Pole, in 1909. (Peary's claim has been disputed.) Her first and middle name are of Swahili origin, taraji meaning hope and penda meaning love.

Henson spent summers at her grandparents' house in suburban southern Maryland. She attended Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland. She first attended NC A&T, where she started a major in Electrical Engineering. She later transferred to Howard University. She worked two jobs—in the morning as a secretary at the Pentagon and in the night as a waitress on The Odyssey Cruise Line to pay for Howard University. She won the Triple Threat Award and graduated with a degree in Theater Arts.


Henson at the 15th Screen Actors Guild Awards, Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, January 25, 2009

Henson has appeared in the films Four Brothers (2005), Talk To Me (2007), Smokin' Aces (2007), The Family That Preys (2008), and Hurricane Season (2009). In late 2008, she starred opposite Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.[10] Henson plays the role of Queenie, Benjamin's mother, in a performance which has garnered critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She noted in an interview that, "Queenie is the embodiment of unconditional love."

Henson has also been a cast member on several television shows, including Lifetime Television's The Division and ABC's Boston Legal for one season. Her recurring appearances in television include the character Angela Scott on ABC's Eli Stone in December 2008. She has guest-starred on several television shows, such as the WB Television Network's Smart Guy, playing the role of Monique (1997–98); the Fox series House in 2005; and CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in 2006. She also starred on an episode of Sister, Sister. In 2011, Henson was cast in the CBS crime-suspense series Person of Interest.

Henson made her singing debut in Hustle & Flow; she provided the vocals for the Three 6 Mafia track "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp".[8] The song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2006, giving Three 6 Mafia the distinction of becoming the first black hip-hop act to win in that category. Henson performed the song at the live Oscar ceremony on March 5, 2006 with the group. Additionally, she performed the song "In My Daughter's Eyes" on the 2006 charity album Unexpected Dreams – Songs From the Stars.

Henson has made several appearances in music videos. For example, she starred in the rapper Common's music video called "Testify" in 2005 as the wife of a soon to be convicted murderer.

Henson joined PETA in its campaign against the use of animal products in clothing, stating, "I don't think a living being should suffer for the sake of fashion, period. End of story... You don't have to kill an animal just because you want to be hot and fly. And I really stand by that". In January 2011, she appeared nude in an ad for the I'd Rather Be Naked Than Wear Fur campaign.

In 2012, Henson starred in the large ensemble cast film Think like a Man, which was based on Steve Harvey's 2009 book Act like a Lady, Think like a Man. Henson will reprise her role in the film's sequel Think Like a Man Too, which is set to be released in June 2014.

Henson joined PETA again for a 2013 campaign stating "Be an Angel for Animals". In the ad Henson poses with her family dog Uncle Willie while wearing a piece of sheer fabric. The ad highlights the issue that, "Chained dogs suffer day in and day out. They are cold, hungry, thirsty, vulnerable, and lonely. Keep them inside, where it's safe and warm."

In the episode entitled "The Crossing" of Person of Interest, Henson's character Carter was killed after co-starring for two years. It is not yet known if she will return in further episodes in a flashback.

Personal life

Henson's son Marcel was born in 1994. Her son's father was murdered in 1997. He was her high school sweetheart. According to a mitochondrial DNA analysis, her matrilineal lineage can be traced to the Masa people of Cameroun.

Websites & Social Networks



  • 2000      The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle                            
  • 2000      Satan's School for Girls                
  • 2001      Baby Boy                            
  • 2004      Hair Show                          
  • 2005      Hustle & Flow                  
  • 2005      Four Brothers  
  • 2005      Animal                
  • 2006      Something New                             
  • 2007      Smokin' Aces                    
  • 2007      Talk to Me                         
  • 2008      The Family That Preys  
  • 2008      The Curious Case of Benjamin Button                  
  • 2009      Not Easily Broken                           
  • 2009      Hurricane Season                           
  • 2009      I Can Do Bad All By Myself                         
  • 2010      Date Night                         
  • 2010      The Karate Kid                
  • 2010      Peep World                      
  • 2010      Once Fallen       
  • 2011      The Good Doctor           
  • 2011      Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story            
  • 2011      Larry Crowne
  • 2011      Laugh at My Pain                            
  • 2011      From the Rough                             
  • 2012      Think Like a Man            
  • 2013      Madly Madagascar                        
  • 2014      No Good Deed                               
  • 2014      Think Like a Man Too


  • 1997      Sister, Sister     
  • 1997–98 Smart Guy
  • 2002–04 The Division (66 episodes)       
  • 2004      All of Us              
  • 2005      House   Moira   
  • 2006      CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
  • 2007–08 Boston Legal (17 episodes)
  • 2011–13 Person of Interest (55 episodes)


Awards won:

2005      Hustle & Flow  

  • BET Award for Best Actress
  • Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress
  • Black Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress

2008      The Curious Case of Benjamin Button  

  • Austin Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
  • BET Award for Best Actress
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

2011      Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story            

  • BET Award for Best Actress
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
  • Black Reel Award for Best Actress: T.V. Movie/Cable