Taraji P. Henson
|Taraji P. Henson|
Henson at the 2011 Heart Truth fashion show
|Born||Taraji Penda Henson
September 11, 1970
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Taraji Penda Henson (born September 11, 1970) 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 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. 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". The song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2006, giving Three 6 Mafia the distinction of becoming the first African American 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 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.
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.
|1997||Sister, Sister||Briana||Episode: "Two's Company"|
|Smart Guy||Monique / Leslie||Episodes: "Big Picture",
"Boomerang", "Break Up Not to Make Up"
|2002–04||The Division||Inspector Washington||14 episodes|
|2001||Murder She Wrote: The Last Free Man||Bess Pinckney||Movie|
|2004||All of Us||Kim||Episode: "In Through the Out Door"|
|2006||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Christina||Episode: "I Like to Watch"|
|2007–08||Boston Legal||Whitney Rome||17 episodes|
|2011–13||Person of Interest||Jocelyn "Joss" Carter||54 episodes|
|2000||The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle||Left-Wing Student|
|2000||Satan's School for Girls||Paige|
|2002||Scary Movie 2||Brenda|
|2005||Hustle & Flow||Shug|
|2005||Four Brothers||Camille Mercer|
|2007||Smokin' Aces||Sharice Watters|
|2007||Talk to Me||Vernell Watson|
|2008||The Family That Preys||Pam|
|2008||The Curious Case of Benjamin Button||Queenie|
|2009||Not Easily Broken||Clarice Clark-Johnson|
|2009||Hurricane Season||Dayna Collins|
|2009||I Can Do Bad All By Myself||April|
|2010||Date Night||Detective Arroyo|
|2010||The Karate Kid||Sherry Parker|
|2011||The Good Doctor||Nurse Theresa|
|2011||Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story||Tiffany Rubin|
|2011||Laugh at My Pain||Taraji|
|2011||From the Rough||Catana Starks|
|2012||Think Like a Man||Lauren|
|2014||No Good Deed||In post-production|
|2014||Think Like a Man Too||Lauren||In post-production|
Awards and nominations
- Wiltz, Teresa (July 21, 2005), "Drama Queen: Taraji Henson Moved to Hollywood And Smacked It Right Upside the Head", Washington Post: C01
- Veteran Actors, First Time Nominees
- NAACP nominates actress with local ties
- (not a direct descendant; Henson and his wife had no children and Henson's only child was born to an Intuit woman during his time in the Arctic)
- Daniels, Karu F. "Taraji P. Henson Prepares For Her Oscar Close Up", AOL Black Voices, BV Entertainment Newswire, 2007-10-27
- Interview with Tavis Smiley, 2008 Dec 19
- Henson, Taraji P. (2013-12-05). Interview with David Letterman. Worldwide Pants. The Late Show with David Letterman. CBS.. Approximately 2 minutes before the end of the show, Henson said that first name is Taraji and "means hope in Swahili" and that her middle name is "Penda, P-E-N-D-A, and that means love in Swahili".
- Wiltz, Drama Queen
- Meet the Nominees: Taraji P. Henson: Vanity fair
- TARAJI PENDA HENDERSON
- Williams, Kam (2008-12-14). "Taraji P. Henson: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Interview". KamWilliams.com. Retrieved 2009-06-30.
- MacDonald, Gayle (January 23, 2009), "Benjamin Button Leads Race for What Pitt Calls -- Our Highest Honour", Globe & Mail (Toronto Can.): R13
- Taraji P. Henson Profile at IMDb
- "Person of Interest: Cast & Details". Tvguide. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
- Swash, Rosie (June 12, 2011). "Three Six Mafia win an Oscar". The guardian. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
- "Three 6 Mafia Oscar Performance". youtube.com. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- "Unexpected Dreams: Songs from the Stars". allmusic.
- "Taraji P. Henson gets naked in the name of PETA". Style Magazine. youtube.com. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- "Taraji P Henson Goes Nude Again, This Time For PETA" January 27, 2011, Mrs Grapevine
- Weiss, Shari (January 28, 2011). "Share on emailShare on printShare on redditMore Sharing ServicesTaraji P. Henson poses nude for PETA's 'I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur' ad campaign". Daily News.
- "Production starts on 'Think Like a Man Too'". upi.com. May 28, 2013. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
- Snetiker, Marc (November 20, 2013). "'Person of Interest' midseason shocker: Taraji P. Henson talks Carter's big [SPOILER!]". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
- "Taraji P. Henson- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- "Taraji Henson talks "Think Like A Man" and motherhood". April 25, 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- "Taraji P. Henson Ancestry Reveal". YouTube. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- Morales, Wilson (Jan 4, 2011). "First Look at Taraji P. Henson's Lifetime Movie 'Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story". Black Voices.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Taraji P. Henson.|
- Taraji P. Henson at the Internet Movie Database
- Taraji P. Henson: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Interview with Kam Williams
- Interview with Taraji P. Henson in Venice Magazine