Taraji P. Henson Biography: Age, Net Worth, Husband, Boyfriend, Movies, Instagram, Pictures, Wikipedia, Son

Posted By Johnson Ajiboye February 16, 2024

Taraji P. Henson is an American actress, singer, and author. Her professional career began in 1997 when she was cast as ‘Aida‘ in an episode of ‘The Parent ‘Hood.’

She landed her breakthrough film role in ‘Baby Boy,’ for which she received nominations at the ‘Black Movie Awards,’ after appearing in several television shows and a few films.

She was nominated for an ‘Oscar‘ for ‘Best Supporting Actress for her role as ‘Queenie’ in ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.’

She has appeared in several films, including ‘Date Night,’ ‘The Karate Kid,’ ‘Think Like a Man,’ and ‘Think Like a Man Too.’ Taraji P. Henson was nominated for ‘Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie’ at the 2011 ‘Primetime Emmy Awards for her work in ‘Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story.’


  • Nickname: TJ, Cookie
  • Gender: Female
  • Date of Birth: September 11, 1970
  • Full Name: Taraji Penda Henson
  • Profession: Actress and Author
  • Nationality: American
  • Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
  • Religion: Christianity
  • Parents: Boris Henson, Bernice Gordon
  • Son: Marcell Johnson

Early Life

Taraji P. Henson was born in Washington, D.C., to Boris Lawrence Henson and Bernice Gordon on September 11, 1970. Her first name, Taraji, means hope in Swahili, and her second name, Penda, means love.

Her father was a metal fabricator, while her mother was a businesswoman. When she was two years old, her parents divorced.

She wished to attend the ‘Duke Ellington School for the Arts in Washington but was denied entrance. After the setback, she enrolled at ‘Oxon Hill High School,’ where she graduated in 1988.

She majored in electrical engineering at ‘North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.’ After failing pre-calculus, she was sent to ‘Howard University’ to study theatre.

She received a ‘Triple Threat Scholarship’ from ‘Howard University.’ She earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 1995.


She made her acting debut in the television sitcom ‘The Parent ‘Hood’ 1997. ‘Sister, Sister’ (1997), ‘ER’ (1998), ‘Division’ (2002-2004), ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2006), and ‘Boston Legal’ (2007-2008) are some of her early television credits. Her first television film was Satan’s School for Girls (2000).

Taraji P. Henson debuted her feature film in 1998 as ‘Tammy’ in the hood-action-crime thriller ‘Streetwise.’ She appeared in the 2000 live-action animated adventure comedy film ‘The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.’

In 2001, she received her debut film role in ‘Baby Boy,’ a comedic drama picture that won her a nomination for ‘Best Actress’ at the ‘Black Movie Awards.’

In 2005, she starred as ‘Shug,’ a prostitute in the ‘Oscar-award-winning independent film ‘Hustle & Flow.’

She also sang the song ‘It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp’ in the film. She received nominations for her performance in the ‘NAACP Image Awards,’ ‘MTV Movie Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards,’ and ‘Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association.’

She continued to demonstrate her acting abilities by starring in films such as ‘Smokin’ Aces’ (2006) and ‘Talk to Me’ (2007).

She continued to demonstrate her flexibility as an actress in films such as ‘The Family That Preys (2008), ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself’ (2009), ‘Date Night’ (2010), and ‘The Karate Kid’ (2010).

In January 2015, she debuted as ‘Cookie Lyon’ in the television musical drama series ‘Empire.’ The series was a financial success, earning her the ‘Critics’ Choice Television Award’ in the ‘Best Actress in a Drama Series category.

She has appeared in several music videos, including ‘Testify’ and ‘Stay.’

In 2016, she portrayed Katherina Johnson, a mathematician, in the biographical drama ‘Hidden Figures,’ for which she received the ‘BET Award,’ ‘NAACP Image Award,’ and ‘MTV Movie Award.’

In 2018, she appeared in films such as ‘Proud Mary’ and ‘Acrimony.’ The same year, she played ‘Yesss’ in the hit 3D computer-animated film ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet.’


  1. Hidden Figures (2016)
  2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  3. Hustle & Flow (2005)
  4. Think Like a Man (2012)
  5. Four Brothers (2005)
  6. Talk to Me (2007)
  7. Something New (2006)
  8. Baby Boy (2001)
  9. The Best of Enemies (2019)
  10. No Good Deed (2014)

Personal Life

During her undergraduate years, she fell pregnant and gave birth to her son Marcell Johnson in 1994. Her son’s father was her high school love.

She married former NFL player Kelvin Hayden in 2018. Her ancestors can be traced back to the Masa people of Cameroon.

Taraji P. Henson was engaged to Kelvin Hayden from 2018 to 2020.

She has also been romantically linked with several individuals, including Drake in 2010, Lamar Odom from 2008 to 2009, Common from 2005 to 2007, Hill Harper from 2002 to 2005, Tyrese Gibson from 1995 to 2002, and William Unknown Johnson from 1987 to 1994.

Net Worth

Benson became well-known when she played Cookie on “Empire,” which ran from 2015 to 2020.

Henson has amassed a net worth of $25 million thanks to the well-liked series and her multiple noteworthy big-screen roles, claims Celebrity Net Worth.

Social Media

  • Instagram: @tarajiphenson

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