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Taraji P. Henson

at the 15th Screen Actors Guild Awards, Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, January 25, 2009
Born Taraji Penda Henson
September 11, 1970 (1970-09-11) (age 39)
Washington, D.C., United States
Occupation Actress
Years active 1997–present

Taraji Penda Henson (born September 11, 1970) is an American actress. She is best 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. In 2009, she appeared in Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself as April, an alcoholic singer.

Contents

Personal life

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.[1][2][3] She is the great-granddaughter of Matthew Henson, one of the explorers who discovered the Geographic North Pole.[4] Her first and middle name are of Swahili origin, with her first name meaning "hope" and her middle name meaning "love."[5]

Henson went to 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.[6] She worked two jobs—in the morning as a secretary at the Pentagon and in the night as a singing and dancing waitress on a dinner cruise ship- The Spirit of Washington- to pay for Howard University. She graduated with a degree in Theater Arts.

Her son Marcel was born in 1994, fathered by ex-boyfriend William Lamar Johnson, who died in 2004.Henson is also the godmother of her best friend tracey jenkins daughter sabirah muhammad[7] Henson's father died in 2006.[8]

Henson has said in an interview that her philosophy in life is: "Love as often as you can. Dance like nobody's watching. Travel. Eat. Try new foods because, like my character says, you never know what's coming for you and when it's time to let go, you got to let go."[9]

Career

Henson has appeared in the films Four Brothers (2005), Talk To Me (2007), Smokin' Aces (2007), Tyler Perry's Family That Preys (2008),[10] Not Easily Broken (2009),[11] and Hurricane Season (2009).[12] In late 2008, she starred opposite Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.[12] 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.[13] She noted in an interview that, "Queenie is the embodiment of unconditional love."[5]

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.[10] Her recurring appearances in television include the character Angela Scott on the ABC television show "Eli Stone" in December 2008. She has guest-starred on several television shows, such as The WB show Smart Guy playing the role of Monique (1997–1998), the Fox Television show House in 2005 and the CBS Television show CSI in 2006. She also starred on an episode of Sister, Sister.[14]

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 the distinction of becoming the first Black hip-hop act to win in the category. Henson performed the song at the Oscars on March 5, 2006 with the group.

Henson has made several appearances on music videos. Henson appeared in the rapper Common's music video called "Testify" in 2005 as the wife of a soon to be convicted murderer. On December 5, 2008, Jamie Foxx premiered his new music video "Just Like Me" on TBS featuring T.I. and Henson, the latter engaging Foxx in a series of "anything you can do, I can do better" style events.

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
2000 The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle Left-Wing Student
2001 Baby Boy Yvette Nominated - Black Reel Award for Best Actress
2004 Hair Show Tiffany
2005 Hustle & Flow Shug BET Award for Best Actress
Black Reel Award -Best Supporting Actress
Black Movie Award - Best Supporting Actress
Nominated- Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated - NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (with Terrence Howard)
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Four Brothers Camille Mercer Nominated - Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
Animal Ramona
2006 Something New Nedra
2007 Smokin' Aces Sharice Watters
Talk to Me Vernell Watson Nominated - NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
2008 The Family That Preys Pam
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Queenie BET Award for Best Actress
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress


Nominated - Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated - Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress

2009 Not Easily Broken Clarice Clark-Johnson
Hurricane Season Dayna Collins
I Can Do Bad All By Myself April Nominated - Black Reel Award for Best Actress
Nominated- Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
2010 Date Night Cop
The Karate Kid Mom
Peep World (post-production) Mary

References

  1. ^ Wiltz, Teresa (July 21), "Drama Queen: Taraji Henson Moved to Hollywood And Smacked It Right Upside the Head", Washington Post: C01, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/20/AR2005072002355.html 
  2. ^ Veteran Actors, First Time Nominees
  3. ^ NAACP nominates actress with local ties
  4. ^ Black Voices website
  5. ^ a b Interview with Tavis Smiley, 2008 Dec 19
  6. ^ Wiltz, Drama Queen
  7. ^ http://www.vibe.com/news/online_exclusives/2008/12/now_taraji_p_henson/
  8. ^ http://blackvoices.aol.com/black_entertainment/featurecanvas?id=20060301130609990001 BV Entertainment Newswire March 1: Taraji P. Henson Prepares For Her Oscar Close Up - AOL Black Voices
  9. ^ Vancheri, Barbara (December 21), "Actress Henson's Hustle Led to Role in 'Benjamin Button'", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA): E1 
  10. ^ a b Taraji P. Henson, IMDB Profile, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0378245/
  11. ^ Verniere, James (January 9), "`Broken': Well Put Together", Boston Herald: E10 
  12. ^ a b Williams, Kam (2008-12-14). "Taraji P. Henson: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Interview". KamWilliams.com. http://www.kamwilliams.com/2008/12/taraji-p-henson-curious-case-of.html. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  13. ^ MacDonald, Gayle (January 23), "Benjamin Button Leads Race for What Pitt Calls -- Our Highest Honour", Globe & Mail (Toronto Can.): R13 
  14. ^ Taraji P. Henson, IMDB Profile, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0378245

Kung fu Kid 2010

External links

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