Taraji P. Henson Bio, Age, Height, Family, Fiancé, Net worth


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Taraji P. Henson
Taraji P. Henson

Taraji Penda Henson is an American actress. She studied acting at Howard University. Taraji started her career as a guest on several television shows. Making her debut in Baby Boy (2001), a comedy-drama film where she played Yvette, alongside singer Tyrese Gibson.

Her first and middle names are of Swahili origin: Taraji “hope” and Penda “love”. She said North Pole explorer Matthew Henson was “her (her) great-great-grandfather’s brother. Henson is a Christian and considers acting a spiritual experience.

She received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the film she played as a single mother of a disabled child in David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). In 2010 she appeared in the action comedy Date Night and the drama The Karate Kid. In 2016, she starred as mathematician Katherine Johnson in the critically acclaimed drama Hidden Figures.

Additionally, Henson has also had an extensive television career starring in the television film Lifetime: Taken From Me, The Tiffany Rubin Story (2011), which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. In 2015-2020, she starred as Cookie Lyon on 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.

Additionally, she won a Golden Globe 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. Additionally that year, she released a New York Times bestselling autobiography titled Around the Way Girl.

Henson acted in two Tyler Perry films. The Family That Attacks in 2008 and I Can Do Evil Alone (2009). In 2010 she appeared in the remake of The Karate Kid with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. Although reviews were lackluster, the film was a commercial success. In January 2018, she starred in Sony Screen Gem’s drama thriller film Proud Mary. She starred in Tyler Perry’s film Acrimony and later voiced the character Yesss in Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet, a sequel to activist Ann Atwater.


Taraji graduated from Oxon Hill School in Oxon Hill, Maryland in 1988. She attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University where she intended to study electrical engineering before transferring to Howard University to study theater. To pay for college, she worked mornings as a secretary at the Pentagon and evenings as a singing and dancing waitress on a dinner cruise ship, the Spirit of Washington.

Henson received her Screen Actor Guild (SAG) membership card in the early 1990s for playing three roles as a supporting actress. In 2005, she was in the independent film Hustle & Flow as Shug, the love interest of Terrence Howard, who played the male lead, Djay. She made her singing debut in the film, which was nominated for two Academy Awards and won one. In 2008, she appeared with Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, where she played Queenie, Benjamin’s mother, and for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Penda is also set to star in and produce The Emmett Till Story, a film about Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black teenager from Chicago who was kidnapped, tortured, murdered and thrown into a river by two white men in rural Mississippi in 1955. Henson will play Till’s mother, Mammie. In December 2020, Taraji began hosting the talk show Peace of Mind with Taraji on Facebook Watch.

Taraji Henson Age

Penda was born on September 11, 1970. She is 53 years old as of 2023.

Taraji Henson Parents

Penda was born in southeast Washington DC. She is the daughter of Bernice (corporate manager at Woodward & Lothrop) and Boris Lawrence Henson (janitor and metal fabricator). Penda also spoke of the influence of her maternal grandmother, Patsy Ballard, who accompanied her to the Oscars the year she was nominated.

Taraji Henson Filho

Henson gave birth to her son Marcell in the year 1994. Marcel’s father, Hensons’ high school sweetheart William LaMarr Johnson, was murdered in 2003. In 2014, Henson said that her son had been racially profiled by the police. Her car was illegally searched during a traffic stop in Glendale, California. Video obtained by the Los Angeles Times showed that Marcel had driven through a lighted crosswalk as a pedestrian was crossing, given verbal consent to search his vehicle, and admitted to smoking marijuana 2 hours before driving. Hash oil and marijuana were found inside Marcel’s car. Henson said in an Instagram message: “I would like to publicly apologize to the officer and the Glendale Police Department. A mother’s job is not easy and neither is a police officer’s job.”

Is Taraji Henson Married?

Henson announced that she has called off her wedding and split from her fiancé of two years, Kelvin Hayden. This major life decision came shortly after she took a girls’ 50th birthday trip to Mexico.

Taraji Henson Height

Penda has an average height of a lady of 5 feet 4 inches

Taraji Henson net worth

Penda has accumulated a net worth of $25 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth in 2023. She has managed to put her earnings to work. Adding real estate and entrepreneurship to her portfolio.